Just one in three Huntingdonshire District Councillors attend meetings

ONLY one in three members of Huntingdonshire District Council turned up for all of the eight full meetings of the authority in 2009/10. But the 18 full-timers did include the chairman, Councillor John Davies, his deputy, Councillor Jeff Dutton, the leader

ONLY one in three members of Huntingdonshire District Council turned up for all of the eight full meetings of the authority in 2009/10.

But the 18 full-timers did include the chairman, Councillor John Davies, his deputy, Councillor Jeff Dutton, the leader, Cllr Ian Bates, and the leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition, Cllr Peter Downes.

A further 13 members attended seven of the meetings, while three were at just five meetings, including Ramsey's Andy Monk, who defected from the Conservatives to UKIP after his own Tory association complained about his attendance record.

St Neots member Cllr Paul Ursell was at just three of the eight meetings, according to figures published by the council.

Former Fenstanton councillor, Tory Paul Dakers, who had been the target of Liberal Democrat taunts about his attendance record, was at just two of the meetings that took place before his resignation in December.

The Lib Dems won the seat at the resultant by-election.

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Councillors' failure to attend meetings should not necessarily be taken as lack of commitment to their constituents. There is a variety of valid reasons, such as the ill-health, the unwillingness of an employer to allow time off or even absence on official HDC business elsewhere that clashes with council meetings.

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