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West Cornwall town council attendance exposed

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: July 19, 2012

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AN INVESTIGATION by The Cornishman has thrown the spotlight on town council attendance figures.

During the past political year, one councillor was only present at 6 out of 29 meetings, while another made it to just 8 out of 31. A total of 10 members from across the area have missed 40 per cent or more of all full council and committee meetings for the 12-month period.

The figures focus on town councillors from Penzance, Hayle, St Just, Marazion and St Ives. Each councillor attending fewer than 60 per cent of their meetings has been contacted by this newspaper.

Health reasons and childcare issues are among the reasons given for absence, but Sarah Mason of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils says low numbers can be damaging.

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Figures from each council are as below:

St Ives

Tim Andrewes 42 out of 47 - 89.3%

Maxine Armstrong 26 out of 34 - 76.4%

Bill Fry 28 out of 40 - 70%

Harry Isaacs 6 out of 21 - 28.6%

Norman Laity 10 out of 20 - 50%

Andrew Mitchell 32 out of 34 - 94.1 %

Colin Nicholls 43 out of 47 - 91.4%

Colin Sanger 47 out of 47 - 100%

Katrina Slack 25 out of 34 - 73.5%

Joan Symons 15 out of 27 - 55.6%

Joan Tanner 14 out of 21 - 66.7%

Suzanne Tanner 15 out of 21 - 71.4%

Terry Tonkin 23 out of 34 - 67.6%

Ron Tulley 44 out of 47 - 93.6%

Yvonne Watson 19 out of 27 - 70.4%

Tamsyn Williams 31 out of 32 - 96.9%

Penzance

Dennis Axford, 27 out of 29 - 93.1%

Mike Cotton, 24 out of 29 - 82.76%

Caroline Dennis, 29 out of 35 - 82.86%

Jack Dixon, 28 out of 35 - 80%

Margaret Freeman, 24 out of 29 - 82.76%

Malcolm Lawrence, 26 out of 29 -89.66%

Ruth Lewarne, 25 out of 35 - 71.43%

Mike Lovegrove, 29 out of 29 - 100%

Roy Mann, 22 out of 29 - 75.86 %

John Moreland, 28 out of 35 - 80%

David Nebesnuick, 15 out of 29 - 44.83%

Judith Parkin, 14 out of 35 - 40%

Jon Pender, 34 out of 35 - 97.14%

Keith Perry, 14 out of 35 -40 %

Phil Peters, 35 out of 49 - 71.43%

Phil Rendle, 28 out of 29 -96.55%.

Jan Ruhrmund, 39 out of 49 - 79.59%

Fiona Thomas-Lambourn, 25 out of 29 - 86.21%

Caroline White, 12 out of 29 - 41.38%

Tamsin Williams, 6 out of 29 - 20.69%

Marazion

Martin Britten 15 out of 23 - 65.2%

David Eddy 20 out of 23 - 86.9%

Penney Hosking 22 out of 23 - 95.6 %

Ann Laity 20 out of 23 - 86.9%

Derek Laity 23 out of 23 -100%

Janet Mitchell 18 out of 23 - 78.2%

Gabby Reynolds 20 out of 23 - 86.9%

Peter Row 21 out of 23 - 91.3%

Sid Thomas 22 out of 23 - 95.6%

Syd Trudgen 21 out of 23 - 91.3%

Bernie Hall 22 out of 23 - 95.6%

St Just

Morley Thomas 34 out of 35 -97.1%

Sue James 28 out of 29 - 96.6%

Dave Stevens 30 out of 32 -93.7%

Francis Angwin 29 out of 29 -100%

Monty Nicholls 29 out of 38 - 76.3%

Colin McClary 29 out of 32 - 90.6%

Sandy Angove 34 out of 38 - 89.5%

Sharon Olds 23 out of 27 - 85.1%

Kevin McFadden 28 out of 30 - 93.3%

Neil McFadden 34 out of 38 - 89.4%

Farmer Morris 33 out of 33 -100%

Hayle

John Bennett 34 out of 36 - 94.4%

Paul Birch 29 out of 31 - 93.5%

Harry Blakeley 15 out of 31- 48.3%

Brian Capper 27 out of 31 - 87%

Graham Coad 27 out of 31 - 87 %

John Coombe 29 out of 36 - 80.5%

Nick Farrar 29 out of 31 - 93.5%

Chris Head 23 out of 31 -71.4%

Jacqui Head 21 out of 31 - 67.7%

Richard Horwell 26 out of 31 - 83.9%

Rob Lello 8 out of 31 - 25.8%

Jayne Ninnes 30 out of 36 - 83.3%

Clive Polkinghorne 31 out of 34 -77.4%

John Pollard 28 out of 31 - 90.3 %

Anne-Marie Rance 29 out of 30 - 96.6 %

See the following reports:

‘Just looking at attendance doesn’t give whole picture’

and

Whose seats are most often empty?

Vote in our poll to the right of this article.

Read more from The Cornishman

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  • nick113  |  October 22 2012, 4:36PM

    @cornishbill. I did not say I expected councillors to attend every meeting. Most on the list attend 80 or 90%, which is acceptable. But those who cannot attend most meetings have clearly taken on too much, and should either attend more or step down, so that the people they purport to represent can have someone who will actually be at the meetings. Is that an unreasonable expectation?

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  • Turnerscrafts Ltd  |  October 22 2012, 2:51PM

    @nick113 You certainly have no idea, about how town an parish councils operate. Councillors on the councillors are unpaid, some have commitments, that clash with council meetings, this is a fact of civic life. Very few if any manage to attend 100% of meetings. Also, attendance at meetings is only one part of being a councillor, and the majority of councillors on town and parish councils, work exceedingly hard, they are also very professional in their role as councillors. Kernowmaid3 is quite right, they are a good deal, and most work tirelessly for their areas, and are a credit to their councils.

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  • nick113  |  July 27 2012, 1:23PM

    I don't agree. If you're not ready, willing and able to attend the meetings you shouldn't stand. If anything, including sickness, is going to keep you away for more than a couple of months you should stand down.

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  • Kernowmaid3  |  July 19 2012, 8:07PM

    It is worth pointing out that all of these councillors are voluntary and none, except Mayors and Deputies get paid anything, not even out of pocket expenses. Also, most were not even elected as mostly there are not enough candidates putting forward for seats and they end up being returned unopposed. I think considering they do it voluntarily they still represent a darn good deal if they are actually delivering for their areas. Many meetings are just talking shops and town and parish councils are often only consultative in nature and have very little power. This needs to change, then maybe you may find more competition and the councils may start to look like they actually are representative a wider cross section of the community.

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