Councillors to face warnings for missing too many meetings
WARNINGS will be sent out to councillors who failed to attend at least two-thirds of meetings last year.
Figures released by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council show six councillors failed to make the 66 per cent target between May 25 2011 and May 22 this year.
Three of this group are no longer part of the council and Pembury councillor June Crowhurst told the standards committee on Thursday she could not attend some meetings last year due to ill health.
Only five out of the 48 councillors have a 100 per cent attendance record.
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New leader of the council David Jukes was in the bottom quarter of councillors' attendance, going to 78.26 per cent of meetings.
Councillors Glenn Hall and Sean Holden missed the target despite being warned in previous years when they failed to hit the two-in-three mark.
Glenn Hall had the worst attendance rate of currently active members, making only half his meetings.
If a councillor misses the target, the leader of the party is written to by the standards committee and asked to explain why it was not met.
Mr Holden told the Courier he felt the target set by the standards committee was not a fair reflection.
He said: "There is a great deal more to it than just attending meetings. I think it is not indicative of the work I do.
"I am happy about representing Benenden and Cranbrook, I work hard for them and represent their interests."
Mrs Crowhurst said the figures were "not a fair representation" of a councillor's work as she had spent time in hospital last year.
Substitute chairman of the committee Anthony Pawson suggested councillors should see the figures first and have a chance to comment on them before anything is made public.
Despite the majority hitting the target, campaign manager of The Taxpayers' Alliance Robert Oxley said 66 per cent was not a high enough aim, arguing: "Councillors in Tunbridge Wells should be at council meetings to ensure they are adequately representing the views of local residents.
"While councillors might not be able to make every meeting it's reasonable to expect them to attend the vast majority, especially if they are claiming generous allowances."
Mr Hall was not available for comment.