How many meetings did your councillor attend?

Hartlepool Civic Centre
Hartlepool Civic Centre

NEW figures show exactly the amount of meetings that your local councillor attends.

Hartlepool councillors receive a basic allowance of £5,696, paid for by the taxpayer for their duties, which includes attending meetings.

The figures, which have been recently revised on Hartlepool Borough Council’s website, cover the municipal year from May 28, 2010, to May 25 this year.

They reveal that around half of the councillors attended at least two-thirds of the meetings they were supposed to.

But 11 members attended less than 40 per cent of the meetings that they were supposed to.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s democratic services department has recorded the attendance figures.

Figures for the best and worst performing councillors include all democratic services meetings including full council, cabinet, portfolio, committees and neighbourhood forum meetings.

They do not include pre-agenda meetings, members’ seminars or training sessions, which are included in the comprehensive list published online.

Ward surgeries, which are usually held once a month, are not included in the figures collected by the council.

Hartlepool Borough Council is a democratic organisation made up of 47 elected councillors, who each represent a constituency known as a ward, plus independent Mayor Stuart Drummond.

Mayor Stuart Drummond attended 70.5 per cent of the meetings he was entitled to attend.

Seven councillors who were voted in at the elections in May have been included in the council figures. But between being elected and the end of the municipal year, the majority of them only had to attend one meeting.

Therefore, the newly-elected councillors have not been included in the Mail’s top and bottom four.

They are Labour councillors Mick Fenwick, Linda Shields, Kaylee Sirs, Sylvia Tempest, Angie Wilcox and Jean Robinson plus Conservative councillor Brenda Loynes.

All councillors receive the basic allowance regardless of their responsibilities and workload as a ward councillor.

The basic and special responsibility allowance, which is paid to those with extra responsibility, is subject to tax and National Insurance.

A councillor is not required to attend a certain number of meetings.

But if they do not attend any council meetings for six months, then he or she ceases to be a councillor, unless their absence has been approved by the council.

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