Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Councillor attendance at meetings

Back In November in response to a BNP leaflet being delivered around Thringstone I blogged about the levels of allowance paid to various councillors.

In that blog I said that being a councillor is much more than just an attendance record and that is undoubtedly true. The role of a councillor is just as much about casework as it turning up at meetings, however, at the same time the attendance record should not be simply ignored.

In particular I have been looking at how often councillors turn up at the meetings they are supposed to and how many times they fail to do so. The results are pretty interesting.

In my previous blog on this subject I noted that on a simple calculation of average allowances paid Labour councillors do receive the highest payments. I also went on to explain fully the reasoning for that inasmuch as Labour with a relatively small group are also recognised as the official opposition and as such receive special responsibility payments under the member allowance scheme.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that Labour have by far the best attendance record at an average of 95% attendance at meetings.

Conservatives similarly have a decent attendance record of 83% albeit that their average figure is brought down by the poor attendance of a few specific members.

It's not until you consider the Lib Dem group that you get to quite awful attendance rates.

The three Lib Dem members of the council have a combined average attendance of just 67%, in other words between them they miss more than three out of ten of all the meetings they are supposed to attend.

As I don't feel it appropriate it at this time to name the attendance rates of specific councillors (although you can check them out on the NWLDC website) I have not included single party groups in this blog, although in fairness those 'groupings' do tend to have good records.

The statement on my November blog holds true you can't just take into account attendance rates, however, my question is this:

Can a councillor be representing their ward members if all they do is casework? If councillors have poor attendance records is it possible for them to be doing their job properly?

Of course, it's up to the voters to decide.

Your comments, as ever, as welcome.

(Source: nwleicestershire.gov.uk)


  1. If your being fair you would of mentioned BNP attendance has always been excellent at District. Meller 95% and Partner 99%. But the story is much more pro labour if you remove the BNP percentages. I do agree though that Labour attendance is good compared to the others. Wayne

  2. I completely agree. When I wrote the blog the BNP was down to just 1 member and for the reasons given in the blog I didn't name individual councillors. Having said that (and although I disagree with their personal politics) both Councillor Mellor and Partner have had excellent attendance records.