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’75 per cent’ Hyndburn council attendance rule could be reinstated
JUST nine out of 35 Hyndburn councillors attended every council meeting last year, new figures reveal.
Nine full council meetings were held between May 2013 and March 2014, including an extraordinary one in November to quiz health chiefs about the future of the Accrington Walk- in Centre, but three-quarters of councillors missed at least one.
The ‘75 per cent’ rule, which would see councillors who fail to attend 75per cent of full council meetings strip-ped of their allowan-ces, abolished by the council in 2005, could now be reinstated, said council leader Miles Parkinson.
Last year, four coun-cillors failed to attend 75per cent of full coun-cil meetings, but still received thousands of pounds in allowances.
Independent Clayton-le-Moors councillor Nick Collingridge missed a third of council meet-ings. He said: “Often, council meetings are not at convenient times. I have missed two meet- ings recently because holidays are interfer-ing with them.
“It’s the work you put in outside the council chamber that matters. Council meetings are just circuses.”
Former Labour coun- cillor for Immanuel, Col- ette McCormack, who lost her seat to Conser-vative Julie Ann Liv-esey last week, had an attendance record of 66per cent. She could not be reached for com- ment yesterday.
Labour councillor for the Peel ward, Wendy Dwyer, had the worst attendance record out of 35 councillors, turn-ing up to just five out of nine council meet-ings. She could not be reached for comment.
Former mayoress, and Conservative coun- cillor for Baxenden, Kath Pratt, attended just six out of nine council meetings last year. She said: “I was ill for one. The second I had a family event on, and the third I can’t tell you. I thought I had only missed two.”
Coun Parkinson said: “Full council meetings are very important, and the dates are sent out almost 12 months in advance. The ‘75per cent’ rule is something that could be looked at, and it could be reinst-ated. I will revisit this with my chief whip, and I’m sure the group whips will look at these figures and remind coun- cillors of their respon-sibilities.”
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