County councillor ‘not quitting’ despite being given funding for non-existent tree planting

A county councillor at the centre of a funding row says he’s changed his mind about resigning.

Staffordshire County Council's Stafford headquarters
Staffordshire County Council's Stafford headquarters

Staffordshire councillor Thomas Loughborough-Rudd was awarded two grants worth a total of £924 from the authority’s climate change fund, prior to being elected as a councillor in May last year.

The grants were for tree planting, however, it subsequently transpired that no tree planting had taken place.

The Burntwood North councillor was suspended from the local Conservative party in November as a result.

In January he resigned his roles on Burntwood Town Council and Hammerwich Parish Council, and more recently he had signalled his intention to step down from Staffordshire County Council as well.

However, in an about-turn he confirmed this week that he wished to continue serving as an independent councillor.

He said: “I have decided that resigning is not something I want to do.

“I have been persuaded not to do so by those close to me who don’t believe I should give up.

“I look forward to next weeks full council meeting and to be returning back to public life after a few months of extreme mental distress.”

The investigation into the controversy has been concluded, and all monies have been repaid.

A county council spokesperson confirmed: “The grant has been fully repaid.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “The investigation has concluded and no further action is being taken.”

Staffordshire County Council said it will be implementing further checks and balances for future grant applications.

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