Lichfield District Council House
Lichfield District Council House

Work is taking place to ensure Lichfield is in a “prime position” to secure jobs moved out of Whitehall through the levelling up agenda, the leader of Lichfield District Council has said.

The Government plans to move 22,000 posts out of London by 2030 as part of plans to spread opportunity across the country.

At a meeting of Lichfield District Council, Cllr Paul Ray asked what was being done to ensure the city was able to secure a share of any jobs relocated to the Midlands.

The Liberal Democrat member for Chadsmead said:

“The district has an enormous amount to offer when it comes to the Government policy of levelling up and bringing Whitehall jobs out to the regions.

“Wolverhampton has a levelling up office that creates an enormous amount of employment, but what are we doing to lobby and persuade Government that Lichfield is well suited for Government type work?

“We have premises. For example, the Police Mutual is empty and could accommodate hundreds of people, and we have the skills in our workforce.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Doug Pullen said discussions were taking place and that the long-awaited Birmingham Road Site redevelopment could also be a lure for such jobs.

“Lichfield is very much a place the Government wishes to level other places up to – we are a beacon of economic activity and we know people who live here earn much higher than average salaries on average.

“We have discussed how we might keep an eye on recent shuffles in Government to make sure we can lobby them.

“We also have a very active economic development team who are very focused on ensuring Lichfield – as a small city accessible to London – is in prime position to take some of those jobs.

“As part of Birmingham Road Site we are going to have grade A office space which would be absolutely ideal.

“We have plenty in motion to see the vision Cllr Ray sets out.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council
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ML
1 month ago

Leveling up will never happen, transport links from Lichfield are poor for example to get to Preston by train you have to change at Crewe and catch a train that has passed through Lichfield

Philip
1 month ago

Well there we go. Birmingham Road Site (i.e. Friersgate) is designated as government Office space. It would have to be substantial to meet national requirements and, of course, parking.
It has taken over a decade for the council to remove this resource from public use. Such a move should be put to public consideration and not proposed ‘in camera’.

RFW
1 month ago

Central Government jobs will go to the poorer urban West Midlands although many of these workers will reside in Lichfield and other surrounding Shire counties.

With more wfh the bar gets higher.

Police Mutual has prime residential re-development written all over it.

Lichvegas
1 month ago

Perhaps it has crossed Cllr Pullen’s mind that the Tories’ voter base may not actually be immortal, and that trying to run a city based on retirement homes and part-time minimum-wage jobs in supermarkets and cafes isn’t a sustainable strategy for the future? Better late than never, I suppose…

I spent a decade commuting into Birmingham, and none of the other incomers to Lichfield that I know actually work here: there just aren’t enough jobs that pay a liveable wage. Birmingham and Nottingham have absorbed thousands of civil service jobs relocated from London, this process was already well set in train by the previous Labour government, but only now that Alexander de Piffle and his cronies are telling tall tales of ‘levelling up’ are our local council interested. Lichfield hasn’t been eligible for any money from this scheme, and sadly this is a very safe Tory seat, so what makes the council think we can get jobs out of it?

Also, I fear it may be difficult to join this party late. Does the council own the lease on the Police Mutual Building and can they determine what happens to it? Genuine question, I don’t know. Looking at recent planning decisions is not encouraging. A centrally-located, decent-sized office block on Birmingham Road? It’s obsolete, tear it down and sell it off to developers for retirement flats. And yes, despite the master-and-servant fantasies of many Tories and their newspapers, more people will be WFH more of the time – there’s a big demand for it, and Tories surely understand that the market is never wrong, don’t they?