Councillors fail to attend meeting

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HALF of Skegness Town Council’s Direction and Strategy meetings held over the past year have been cancelled because not enough councillors attended.

Last Tuesday the latest gathering of the committee could not proceed as only five of the 12 members turned up.

Those that braved the miserable weather only to have their time wasted expressed their frustration at the absentees and suggested methods to prevent further occurrences.

Coun Phil Kemp said: “It really annoys me when people cannot fulfil their commitment to their constituents. Can people be fined if they don’t turn up without giving their apologies?”

Although many felt an official fine would be difficult to impose, a gentleman’s agreement to make a voluntary donation to the Mayor’s charity for each occasion of absence was suggested as an alternative.

However none of these ideas could be officially voted on because of the insufficient numbers present.

Town clerk Steve Larner expressed his concerns that the next meeting would be very busy in order to carry out all of the business in time for setting the budget.

Tuesday’s cancellation brought the total number of inquorate meetings to four out of eight which had been scheduled.

For the committee to form a quorum, the minimum number of councillors to pass decisions, at least half of the committee’s twelve members need to be present.

One of the absent councillors, Coun Neil Cooper, who is also Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council had county council matters to attend to.

He has expressed his apologies for not forewarning his fellow councillors about his absence but feels that more meetings could proceed if the council changed the system so that only a third of the members are required to form a quorum.

The other councillors not present without sending apologies were Coun Mark Anderson and Councilor Christine Draper.

Coun Anderson was unwell on the meeting date and only attends in his ex officio capacity as deputy mayor, which he said does not require compulsory attendance.

He has also suggested the high number of absentee councillors may have arisen from a late date change to the meeting.

He said: “The changed and for busy people who are on other councils, they need to stability so that they know when meetings are being held.”