Huntingdon councillor criticises colleagues for attendance at meetings

Cllr Patrick Kadewere.

Cllr Patrick Kadewere. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon councillor has slammed his colleagues for not turning up to meetings.

Councillor Patrick Kadewere, who represents Huntingdon North, has reached the end of his tether after a town council planning meeting on Thursday (October 23), where he was due to raise issues about a housing development, was postponed due to a lack of numbers.

He said that at a meeting on September 11, only seven of the 19 councillors turned up and will be raising the issue at the next full council meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

So far in 2014, there have been three full council meetings where fewer than 10 councillors have turned up - with eight at the June 26 and the January 23 meeting and nine at the April 24 meeting.

Only mayor Councillor Bill Hensley and Councillor Ann Beevor have unblemished records at full council this year, with Councillor Sid Akthar the worst attendee, only turning up at one meeting. Councillors Stephen Cawley, Alan Cole and Raj Subhan have attended only two full council meetings this year.

Cllr Kadewere, who has missed one full council meeting, said: “It’s really becoming a problem now where they can only get seven people across 19. It’s not good at all. I wanted to raise the issue of buses on Buttsgrove Way as they cannot pass safely on the corner but I couldn’t as the meeting was cancelled.

“I don’t know why they don’t turn up, some don’t even send their apologies. It’s just they don’t bother. They are meant to be there to contribute, discuss issues and vote.

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“It’s not just the full council, it’s the panels and committees as well. It’s very important that people turn up to those as that’s where most of the decisions are made.

“Then they are not able to feed back the information to the communities they serve, that’s the worry I have got.

“I know they volunteer their time, but when they are voted in, they have got to be serious about it and attend meetings, not to do it when they choose. It’s high time they realise their responsibility, they don’t just represent their party, but the community that voted them in.

“Even when there are not elections, we still need to do it.”

Philip Peacock, Huntingdon town clerk, said: “We had to cancel one meeting because of the number of apologies coming in, to attend district council meetings, illness or family illness. The meeting was moved to November 3.”