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Local News

  • Article: Apr 20, 2017

    Action Day at 48 Dimbles Lane LICHFIELD WS13 7HL - home of Marion Bland
    Both Leafleting and Canvassing (knocking on doors) will be organised - probably also some counting and bundling of leaflets!
    Meeting from 10:30 am for 11 am canvassing start - Tea, Coffee, biscuits and social chat also on offer!

  • Article: Apr 20, 2017

    The next Burton Lib Dem Pint will be held on 8th May from 7.30 pm at the Coopers Tavern, Cross Street, DE14 1EG

    Note: The Burton Lib Dem Pint is normally held on the first Monday of each month but this time it will be held one week later because of the Bank Holiday and Council elections.

    Please see Councillor Helen Hall's Facebook page for details or email her at helenhall.libdem@gmail.com

  • Paul Ray Miles Trent - coop
    Page: Apr 10, 2017

    Staffordshire County Council Elections

    4 May 2017

    * * *

    Read on for details of all our candidates

    * * *

    Lichfield City North - Miles Trent

    - pictured here with Cllr Paul Ray

    -The county division includes Chadsmead ward where Cllr Paul Ray was elected with nearly half of the vote in 2016.

    As county councillor for North Lichfield , Miles Trent would be an articulate and persuasive voice for local people at County Council level, making sure that local views are taken seriously and acted upon.
    Miles lives in North Lichfield with his wife and two young children.

    Miles Trent is an experienced criminal lawyer working in the civil service and is passionate about preserving a strong effective and efficient public sector.

    Lichfield City South - Jamie Christie

    - includes Leomansley ward where Liberal Democrats have had a long history of electing District Councilors up to 2011 - Former councillor Ian Jackson is pictured with Jamie and will be part of the campaign team.

    Jamie Christie works as a scientist and university lecturer, so he is passionate about ensuring that a good education is available to all. Sadly the government's new funding formula will cut funding to many of Staffordshire's schools which could lead to fewer teachers and poorer education. If elected to the County Council, Jamie will make sure local residents' views on this vital issue are listened to and acted on.

    Jamie lives in the Lichfield City South division with his wife and two children.

    Burton Town Division - Helen Hall

    Helen Hall has been a Councillor for Burton ward on East Staffordshire council since her stunning by-election win in February 2017 with over half the vote and the other candidates sharing the rest!

    She and her husband Jamie have two small children and run their own jewelry design business.

    Helen says many of the residents complaints she deals with are actually to do with the County Council. "I can do a better job for residents if I am on the County Council as well!"

    Shobnall Ward - East Staffs b.c. Monica Douglas-Clark

    Monica is a Burton resident who is passionate about the issues that matter to the community around her.

    She has a particular attachment to Shobnall ward and is still closely connected to the community through her work, family and friends.

    She currently lives in Winshill, Burton, with her husband Simon.

    She is committed to contributing her skills and giving back to the community that she came from and helping Burton to be a better place to live for all.

    Lichfield Rural North - Stowe ward Lichfield City - Jeyan Anketell

    Jeyan Anketell has lived in Lichfield with his wife and two sons since 1985. Jeyan is a retired teacher, having been Head of Science at a local secondary school.

    During his time in Lichfield Jeyan has taken on many community roles including being a Lichfield City Councillor 2003-2007.

    Currently he is a Non-Stipendiary Minister (spare time and unpaid priest) attached to St Michael's Church, Lichfield and since June 2016 been a Volunteer Reading/Listening Assistant at the community primary school previously attended by both his children many years ago, as also Nether Stowe School.

    Burntwood South - John Smith

    John Smith was born in Lincolnshire trained as a site engineer with a civil engineering company moving to the Midlands 30 years ago and settling in Lichfield .

    He is married to Barbara and they have three grownup sons

    John is now retired and his hobbies are bellringing, gardening and travel. John is a governor at Willows School and Chair of governors at St Chad 's and has in the past been a Lichfield District councillor and City councillor for Leomansley ward

    Lichfield Rural West - Richard Rathbone

    Richard Rathbone now works part time as an inspector for the Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents the GCSE and GCE examination awarding bodies. He lives in Lichfield and joined the Liberal Democrats in 2016 following the referendum result having never previously been a member of any political party.

    Richard says: "A favourite phrase used by Tory cabinet ministers these days is to introduce any statement they make with the words "I am very clear that…" In reality they are far from being clear. They certainly do not yet have a "clear" approach to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Even the Chancellor, in the full knowledge we must assume of the Prime Minister, can make an elementary error in his recent budget over the proposed increased national insurance charges for self-employed people. Conservative politicians are not as competent as they would like to have us believe." Richard will be effective and conscientious in representing people in his division.

    Lichfield Rural East - Phil Bennion

    Phillip Bennion was County Councillor for Lichfield Rural East from 2002-05 and Lichfield District Councillor for Mease and Tame from 1999-2011. A farmer from Haunton, Phillip also served as MEP for the West Midlands from 2012-2014. From his time as a County Councillor one can see that he has a record of achieving change : 1) Worked with pressure group Tamworth Northern Alliance to get development north of Tamworth kicked out on grounds of inadequate road infrastructure 2) Campaigned successfully to get the decking to increase capacity at Tamworth station car park. 3) Instigated the adoption by Lichfield District of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) to mitigate flooding. 4) Helped introduce Direct Payments for Social Care giving the rural elderly a better chance of independent living. 5) Gained an increased frequency of buses for Mease Valley 6) Attended all Parish Council meetings in the area on a regular basis. To keep people in touch with all this he delivered regular Focus leaflets.

    Compare all this with the record of the local Tories. Tory Control at all levels of Government is bad for us. It's time to hold them to account

    Lichfield Rural South - Alasdair Brooks

    Alasdair Brooks is a post-medieval archaeologist, and the editor of two professional archaeology publications. He is a specialist in the study of the international trade in 19th-century Staffordshire pottery and has professional experience in heritage management, collections management, and archaeology in the academic, private, and museum sectors both in the UK and internationally.

    Alasdair lives in Lichfield.

    Bolebridge (Tamworth) - Matt Davies

    Matt has worked in Sales for British, American and European businesses since leaving University and currently spends his time managing UK sales for a Dutch biscuit manufacturer. His working experiences made him pro-European and led to his local co-ordination of the Tamworth Stronger In campaign. Like many people, Matt found the campaign and recent months very painful as families, friends and neighbours divided over their opinion on Europe. He hopes he can help bring the community back together as their County Councillor.

    Living in Bolebridge , Matt believes Tamworth has a great future. He is standing for election because he believes:

    1. We need Infrastructure in place first before our town is over developed and grinds to a halt.

    We must build more houses to enable everyone to have a chance of getting a home of their own but we must ensure the quality of life for our existing residents is not damaged ... the infrastructure must come first, then we can build.

    2. Our environment matters. We must protect our children's health by ensuring better air quality.

    Infrastructure and our environment are closely linked. Tamworth is already managing areas with poor air quality. We accept we need more houses and accept Tamworth will grow but insist we need a road and transport network fit for this future. If we do not invest then we will suffer the consequences of poor air quality caused by traffic jams.

    3. We must protect our local economy and jobs as we approach Brexit.

    Our government will soon be drowning in Brexit and we must fight to get the best for Tamworth in a post Brexit world and specifically:-

    • Tamworth does not lose a single job to Brexit
    • Every investment penny lost is made up by central government
    • Push for the people to have the final say on the terms of BREXIT
    • Tamworth Can Improve our Social Care

    We must consider a better way to fund our Social Care and look after our old people. We should consider tax rises if necessary and even consider a local referendum on increasing council tax to fund our social care just like they did in Surrey. Staffordshire old people matter too.

    Is it right that there is Tory Control at all levels of Government? A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to hold the Tory party to account, for a real opposition.

    Perrycrofts (Tamworth) - Jenny Pinkett

    Jenny has lived in Tamworth since 1979. She was a Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Child Protection Coordinator and Inclusion Manager at a local high school. She has also been a school governor and has worked in the fastenings industry. Jenny has been a parliamentary candidate and stood in local elections many times. She is very keen to see more women involved in politics.

    Jenny feels that Tamworth is a great place to live and bring up a family. Unfortunately it seems to have a local economy based on low skilled jobs which means many skilled people leave the town to move to areas where there are more opportunities to progress in their careers. Long term planning for the town has not really been in line with the needs of the population.

    As a County Councillor she would call for a more cohesive plan on our infrastructure before further housing development takes place, linking this to the health and well being of the community. She would promote the use of electric transport to link the town centre with Ventura Park to help reduce polluting standing traffic.

    Jenny is passionate about the conversion of our unoccupied buildings for residential use, bringing more homes rather than shops to the town centre to help sustain a viable commercial atmosphere for existing businesses. She sees the proposed sale of Moorgate School by Staffordshire County Council as a real test of how investment can be encouraged and how an historic building can be developed to enhance and serve her local community.

    Horninglow & Stretton - Hugh Warner

    Burton Tower - Robert Coates

    "I am a retired engineer who has lived for the past 60 years in this Electoral Division. Consequently I know the area very well and hence feel well placed to support the community in a fair, open and tolerant way.My work career started as a trainee and then engineer at Rolls Royce, followed by many years at British Coal, Bretby and then as founder and director of a software business in Rugby, before returning to a software business in this area.On the personal level I have been a member and volunteer of St John Ambulance for many years. As a trained first aider I still volunteer for sporting events and shows.I am married with three grown up children and three grandchildren"

    Watling South (Tamworth) - Roger Jones

    Roger Jones has lived in Dost Hill, Tamworth for 33 years with his wife Christine. Both were primary school teachers for 40 years before retiring.

    They have three grown-up boys, who all attended Wilnecote High School and have international partners. So it's an international family and Roger is understandably a strong "Remainer".

    Roger has been a candidate for councillor in Tamworth several times. Apart from politics his main hobbies are playing music, travelling, photography, gardening, reading and puzzles.

    He believes this Tory government is busy dragging down the NHS through its lack of funding, and indirectly, too, through disastrous Local Authority cuts which are causing severe problems in Social Care, again damaging the NHS.

    The squeeze on Staffordshire Council spending is resulting in deteriorating roads. Insufficient spending on education, too, is damaging our children, who have become political pawns in the Tory Game of Tests and League Tables.

    Thousands of skilled doctors, nurses and teachers are leaving their posts because of Tory policies. And our youth have no prospects for decent wages or homes of their own. Brexit will make matters worse. The country seems to be going to pot (certainly to pot-holes!). It is well time for a fresh outlook. A Liberal Democrat one.

  • Lichfield and Burntwood Education cuts
    Article: Apr 1, 2017
    By Alasdair Brooks

    Under current government spending plans, 99% of English and Welsh schools will have a per-pupil funding cut. That works out to an average -£103,754 cut to primary schools (an average -£403

    average loss per primary pupil), and an average -£470,433 cut to secondary schools (an average -£554 loss per secondary pupil). These shocking figures have a direct impact here in Lichfield District, where schools in Lichfield and Burntwood are facing cuts of 6% to 18% (see graph).

  • Paul Ray - 2015 Election
    Article: Mar 17, 2017
    By Miles Trent

    Grange Lane - Eastern Avenue Junction

    Residents have become very frustrated by the slow response from the Tory County Council and a Labour County Councillor to take action over the dangerous junction between Grange Lane and Eastern Avenue. One resident said Staffs Highways clearly "have not grasped the seriousness of the problem facing people who use the junction on a daily basis." Now, following ongoing pressure from Cllr Paul Ray to Tim Heminsley, of Staffs County Council Highways and to the Labour County Councillor, Cllr Ray has had a response. This junction will be put into the capital programme for 2017/18 for improvements. That is certainly a step forward, but it seems that what will be proposed are minor improvements rather than a roundabout,
    which is what your local Lib Dems have been campaigning for. Cllr Ray is now pushing for clarification as to the extent of the proposed scheme as local residents are concerned that it will be insufficient at this dangerous junction, where further accidents have been reported recently.

  • Samuel Johnson Hospital - Jamie Christie -2
    Article: Mar 17, 2017
    By Jamie Christie

    Hardly a day seems to go by without another news story about the critical condition of the NHS. Waiting times in A&E have reached their worst ever levels. Nine out of ten hospitals have had 'overcrowded' wards this winter.
    Government cuts to social care in the community have forced patients with chronic illnesses to rely on our hospitals, increasing the pressure on those services. There are more than 3.7 million people on the waiting list for non-urgent treatment; and there is unprecedented pressure on GP services across the country. These pressures have been felt keenly in Staffordshire, and they look set to continue. Savings to the healthcare budget of £104m by 2021 are being targeted in Staffs, with proposals to: reduce the number of minor injury units in the county, reduce the number of community beds by 99 over 2 years, and reduce the number of A&E centres in Staffs from 3 to 2. Such changes could all be damaging to the Samuel Johnson Hospital in Lichfield.

  • Garrick Theatre - 1
    Article: Mar 16, 2017
    By Paul Ray

    The Garrick Theatre is an asset for our local community but is supported by a large amount of funding from Lichfield District Council (approx £350k in 2016/17). This is at a time when the council is under considerable financial pressure and is reducing support for other community activities. We want to see this funding reduce and pressure being put on The Garrick's management to secure other sources of funding.
    Cllr Paul Ray has now raised this issue at full District Council and separately with Conservative councillors who are responsible for Garrick funding. Cllr Ray said: "I am convinced that The Garrick can do more to attract grant funding and commercial revenue, and so reduce its reliance on your Council Tax. The Watermill Theatre in Newbury is roughly comparable in size, and receives £540k in grants from non-council sources, mainly from the Arts Council, compared to £17k at The Garrick. Also, The Garrick does not yet employ a dedicated fundraising manager. There must be renewed efforts to fill this role, which would be an investment leading to external funding being raised." Lib Dems believe the Council and The Garrick need to do more to promote the "conference economy" in Lichfield. Most businesses have conferences / away-days and, with great rail and road connections, Lichfield is well located for these. The Garrick could be an ideal venue. More needs to be done on this issue, and your local Lib Dems will continue to put pressure on The Garrick and the Conservatives on Lichfield District Council.

  • Hugh, Jamie, Helen and Dominic. 16th Feb 2017
    Article: Feb 17, 2017
    By Colin Reisner

    Great News. Yesterday Helen Hall retained Michael Rodgers' seat in Burton. And a very sound win too:

    On a 21.6% turnout, (the same as the last East Staffordshire by-election) the results were

    Helen Hall LD 271 52.7%
    Lab 127 24.7% , UKIP 60 11.7%, Con 56 10.9%

  • Chadsmead 2016 byelection count
    Page: Feb 6, 2017


    Lichfield District Council and Lichfield City Council (parish)

    Paul Ray

    Chadsmead Ward

    elected February 2016

    With 44% of vote


    25 Christchurch Lane
    WS13 8BA

    Tel: 01543 250395 or
    07771 856 931


    East Staffordshire Borough Council

  • Article: Jan 9, 2017
    By Paul Ray

    The Sustainability and Transformation Programme report in respect of health and social care services in Staffordshire till 2021 has recently been published and Paul Ray of the Lichfield and Burntwood Liberal Democrats has highlighted that this raises a number of serious issues.

    Paul Ray said "There are some sensible proposals in the report and we do support the determination to get providers working together and not competing. However this government's severe underfunding of the NHS and councils who have to provide our social care services is clearly evident in this report.