Council publishes members’ attendance details

Councillor Dineen Walker
Councillor Dineen Walker
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COUNCILLOR Dineen Walker has been shown to have attended the fewest council meetings in the past year.

The DUP representative attended just 21 of the 64 regular council meetings and Committee sessions during the period of June 2011 to May 2012.

The figures were published on the council website on Monday. They detail councillors’ attendance at each full council meeting and the various Committees.

There were 64 meetings for the period including 14 council meetings and 10 meetings of each of the Committees - namely Planning, Environment, Leisure, Policy and Governance and Development Committees.

The best attending councillor was alderman John Blair who attended 63 of the 64 meetings.

The next best was councillor Pat McCudden who attended 58 meetings throughout the year.

Macedon representative Walker’s attendance at 21 meetings was just under a third of the meetings scheduled for all members.

Throughout the year she attended seven council meetings as well as one meeting of the Planning Committee, one meeting of the Policy and Governance Committee and two Development Committee meetings. She did not attend any Environment Committee meetings.

Councillor Walker told the Times that her low attendance was because her father was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2010 and she was his carer until his death in November 2011.

Councillor Lynn Frazer was the next poorest attendee. The Alliance representative attended 34 meetings according to the council statistics, which was over half (53 per cent) of all scheduled.

The University representative attended 10 council meetings, five Planning Committees, seven Environment Committees, four Policy and Goverance Committees and eight Development Committees. She attended none of the Leisure Committee meetings throughout the period.

She said: “I have always been committed to the Development and Environment Committees for as long as I have been on the council. Until recently we nominated Committees we were to attend and I was always on those and my attendance of 80 per cent at Development and 70 per cent at Environment show that commitment. That is not to say I do not value the Leisure Committee - it is just that I am on the Board of Governors at three schools and the meetings fall on the same days. Therefore, I feel it is wrong to put all the meetings together as the Times have done here as it skews the figures.

“I represent the council on a number of other organisations which are not included in these figures and along with a full-time job and family it can prove difficult to attend every meeting, but I do try.”

Also included in the figures published by the council is the Audit Committee. It is attended by a cross-party group of councillors and meets three times a year.

Councillors Cosgrove, Girvan, McClelland, O’Reilly and Webb form the Committee and throughout the period reported alderman Paul Girvan and councillor Gerry O’Reilly missed one meeting each.

Meanwhile, the council has also revealed it cost £4,198.56 to send councillors and officers to seven conferences throughout the year. The full breakdown of all figures is available on the council’s website.