A councillor has been dismissed from his role on a parish council for non-attendance at meetings.

Cllr David Storey has been removed from Trawden Parish Council after he failed to attend two council meetings between June 2020 and December 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after a court hearing in April ruled that correspondence via email during the pandemic - which Trawden Parish Council had been doing as a means of conducting their meetings - did not constitute as an official meeting and would be deemed unlawful.

The case came about following the dismissal of former councillor, Craig McBeth late last year, for his non-attendance at meetings between April and October 2020.

Mr McBeth said: "I was removed from the council for missing just one meeting - the only meeting held within a six month period - because I was shielding with my diabetic partner.

"Cllr Storey missed two and was allowed to stay on the council.

"The law states a councillor must be dismissed if they fail to attend any council meetings within a six month period.

"Coronavirus regulations allowed councils to suspend this law, but Trawden Parish Council did not.

"After I was dismissed in October I brought the legal proceedings against the council because email conversations, between April and October 2020, were not lawful council meetings as the council had asserted, and therefore I had not missed any meetings at all."

The consequences of the April court ruling meant that Trawden Parish Council had to go and look at the attendance of councillors again, and in doing so found that Cllr Storey had missed two meetings in a six month period, thus requiring him to also be dismissed.

In a statement, Trawden Parish Council said: "Trawden Forest Parish Council currently have two vacancies for councillors; one for the Trawden area and one for the Cotton Tree, Wycoller and Winewall areas.

"The council has recently had to dismiss one of the councillors from Cotton Tree following the court comments that the way the Parish Council held 'meetings' during the pandemic was not lawful, although business continued and public were engaged with the council.

"David Storey missed the October meeting and then couldn't successfully log onto the Zoom meeting in December.

"As soon as the council saw that the court had ruled that the email correspondence could not be classed as a meeting, and it was brought to their attention that David had missed these two meetings, he had fallen foul of the six month ruling, even though he was an active councillor during the whole of the pandemic and had upheld his duties."

The council has been running lawful Zoom meetings since December 2020.

For more information on the vacancies please visit: trawdenparishcouncil.org.uk