DUP councillor attends fewest meetings

Cllr Paula Bradley MLA
Cllr Paula Bradley MLA

Councillor Paula Bradley attended the fewest number of council and committee meetings during the past council year, the latest figures reveal.

According to statistics revealed by Newtownabbey Borough Council, the Antrim Line representative attended just 26 meetings out of a possible 64 throughout the reported 12 month period in 2012/13.

The DUP member received a reduced allowance for being a councillor - £2,028.75 - because she is also an MLA for North Belfast.

However, in contrast, fellow DUP member and councillor, Alderman Paul Girvan, who is the only other MLA on the council, had one of the highest attendance rates for council and committee meetings.

The Ballyclare representative and South Antrim MLA attended 53 meetings out of the 64.

Alderman Girvan is also a member of the Audit Committee, which is not included in the overall statistics, as it only meets three times a year and only five representatives are members.

Councillor Bradley was first elected in 2005 and was the borough’s mayor in 2010 and deputy mayor the year before.

She has made no secret of her desire to step down from the council, however it’s thought her party is having difficulty choosing someone to replace her.

Councillor Bradley did not respond to a request for a comment ahead of the Times going to press.

On average, councillors attended 77 per cent of the 64 council and committee meetings which took place throughout the year.

Aldermen Billy Ball and John Blair attended the most meetings. Both representatives attended 61 out of the 64 meetings.

Committee meetings were generally well attended. Out of the six committees, the best attended was the Policy and Governance Committee. The Environment Committee had the poorest attendance.

The attendance figures, and details of members’ allowances and expenses for the 2012/13 year, are available in full on the council’s website.