Councillors’ attendance at meetings

Buried on the council website is an interesting table, showing councillors’ attendance at certain council meetings (full council meetings, scrutiny, Cabinet (including subcommittees) and other council committees (such as Audit/Appeals).

I was pleased to be one of many who insisted this information is important to have in the public domain. I think we can be reasonable pleased with the first effort council officers have come up with to allow residents to see whether they are being properly represented (or at least whether they are turning up – contribution levels vary dramatically) by their ward councillors in meetings that involve the running of the whole town, rather than just their ward.

I’m not convinced the table has all of the meetings it could have included, and with different councillors on different committees (and therefore expected to attend different, and differing numbers of, meetings) it is not quite as useful as it could be. But this is the first year, so I’ll check it out again next year.

It should also be noted that there is more to the role of being a councillor than being a great orator in the council chamber. However I do think it is important that people at least turn up and therefore the residents of the ward they represent get a say in how the town is run.

With all bar one (Licensing sub-committee A!) council meetings for the calendar year 2015 over the table stands at:

Councillor Expected to attend Attended Percentage
Councillor Bernard Arscott 10 10 100%
Councillor Stephen Aylen 8 8 100%
Councillor Mary Betson 8 8 100%
Councillor James Courtenay 10 10 100%
Councillor Mark Flewitt 8 8 100%
Councillor Ian Gilbert 7 7 100%
Councillor Stephen Habermel 8 8 100%
Councillor Ann Holland 7 7 100%
Councillor Anne Jones 9 9 100%
Councillor Andrew Moring 5 5 100%
Councillor James Moyies 9 9 100%
Councillor Carole Mulroney 12 12 100%
Councillor Cheryl Nevin 10 10 100%
Councillor Lesley Salter 8 8 100%
Councillor Chris Walker 15 15 100%
Councillor Julian Ware-Lane 8 8 100%
Councillor Charles Willis 11 11 100%
Councillor Ron Woodley 8 8 100%
Councillor Brian Ayling 19 18 95%
Councillor Dr. Alan Crystall 18 17 94%
Councillor Fay Evans 17 16 94%
Councillor Roger Hadley 16 15 94%
Councillor Maureen Butler 15 14 93%
Councillor Nigel Folkard 14 13 93%
Councillor Paul Van Looy 13 12 92%
Councillor Mike Stafford 12 11 92%
Councillor Steve Buckley 11 10 91%
Councillor Lawrence Davies 11 10 91%
Councillor Georgina Phillips 11 10 91%
Councillor Derek Jarvis 10 9 90%
Councillor Judith McMahon 20 18 90%
Councillor David McGlone 18 16 89%
Councillor Martin Terry 9 8 89%
Councillor Margaret Borton 17 15 88%
Councillor Tony Cox 8 7 88%
Councillor Caroline Endersby 8 7 88%
Councillor David Norman MBE 8 7 88%
Councillor Kevin Robinson 15 13 87%
Councillor Trevor Byford 14 12 86%
Councillor David Garston 14 12 86%
Councillor Ian Robertson 12 10 83%
Councillor Mike Assenheim 17 14 82%
Councillor Jonathan Garston 11 9 82%
Councillor Dr. Marimuthu Velmurugan 11 9 82%
Councillor Meg Davidson 10 8 80%
Councillor John Lamb 10 8 80%
Councillor Floyd Waterworth 9 7 78%
Councillor Derek Kenyon 13 10 77%
Councillor Nick Ward 12 9 75%
Councillor Tino Callaghan 17 10 59%
Councillor Graham Longley* 11 6 55%

Bold = Blenheim Park Ward councillor.
*Known health problems

Comments:

  • Only 18 out of 51 councillors managed to achieve 100% attendance (although many of the others will have sent substitutes and attended as a substitute for others)
  • Of the four councillors (excluding Graham Longely who is unwell) who could reasonably have been expected to attend 80% or more council meetings, I’m pleased that none of them are Conservatives and not surprised that two of them were elected under the UKIP banner.
  • I leave the reader to draw their own conclusions on the attendance record of the three Blenheim Park councillors….
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About jamescourtenay

Local Southend resident, since before I can remember. I am hoping to represent the residents of Blenheim Park Ward after the May 2011 Local Elections. Straight Talking? - Yes. Approachable? - Yes. Accountable? - Yes. See my blog to find out how!
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One Response to Councillors’ attendance at meetings

  1. I would like to point out that the tragic death of councillor Tino Callaghan’s son a few months ago is the most likely reason for his absents.

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