Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Empty chamber highlights “No Show” rate of councillors

A WEEK AGO at cabinet, a presentation was given on the sickness record of Thurrock Council employees. Council employees take an average of 11.4 days off per year, which according to the Labour administration is far too high.

There was a determination to do something about it and an in-depth discussion about what systems were in place to help absentee staff.

Absenteeism in the private sector stands at an average of 7 days per year.

Last night, over twenty per cent of the councillors failed to attend a vital meeting of the full council.

There seemed a certain irony in that the meeting was dominated by a presentation from Essex Police which focussed on the 1100 members of staff that may lose their jobs. Indeed, Operation Midsummer at the weekend was spearheaded by special constables, unpaid amateurs, who give their time after a long working week to help fight crime.

Corringham councillor, Ian Harrison is mourning the death of his partner, Daphne Hart, whilst shadow deputy leader, Amanda Arnold is abroad dealing with a family illness.

Others absent included Claire Baldwin, Wendy Herd, Amanda Prevost, Sue Gray, Lynn Carr, Terry Hipsey,Tunde Ojetola and Steven Veryard.


  1. Apart from Cllrs Harrison & Arnold what excuse have the other Councillors got for their non attendance especially when this was a Full Council Meeting, if people cannot dedicate the time to these meetings then maybe they should not be standing for council, obvioulsy if they have genuine reasons then that is a different story.

  2. Councillors are paid politicians and also receive quite generous expenses the least they can do is to turn up for the monthly meeting of Full Council. There will be circumstances, such as illness, justifying a Councillors absence which will be understood and acceptable. However I believe a reason for absence should be made at the meeting and if no reason is given or absence is considered unjustifiable then Councillors should forfeit a days pay. Looking at the list of absentees I am particularly concerned at the absence of my Belhus Ward Councillor, especially as she was able to attend a meeting, two days earlier, regarding a petition in support of a “community” police officer. Cllr Gray appears, yet again, not to attach the same importance to council matters as she does to her role in SORA. I suggest others may want to ask their Ward Councillors the reason why they were absent from the Full Council Meeting held on Wednesday 21 September, 2011. As for the comment by “upthereds”, if I understand correctly, he/she is recommending a further payment of £10:000 to Councillors, there speaks a person who likes to chuck other peoples money around.

  3. Part of the job of the press is to help hold the politicians to account, so good on YT for doing so. Can I respectfully suggest that YT email the councillors in question to ask why they did not attend the meeting, and publish the replies on monday, as well as the names of anyone who did not reply?

    And perhaps a “running total” published after each full council with attendance record and reasons given for not attending?

  4. Although the idea of holding the Cllr’s to account sounds good the only people they have to held to is the residents of the ward they represent! so somebody from Ockendon doesn’t have to explain to somebody in Standford le hope! Also the idea of them to get paid is a joke they should cut there money! pay as they earn!

  5. I agree with gray88, maybe they should work unpaid for the year and be scrutinized to see how well they are doing for thier ward.


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