THE LEADER of Thurrock Council told a packed chamber on Wednesday night that he cannot “defend the indefensible” over the continued absenteeism of Ockendon councillor, Aaron Kiely.
Cllr Kiely was absent from last nights meeting for which he made no apologies (and for the record Tilbury councillor Claire Baldwin was also a no-show).
Council leader, John Kent was responding to a question from shadow Conservative leader, Phil Anderson, on how many days per year is a councillor expected to “perform their ward and council duties?
Cllr Kent detailed that the answer is 96 days. It was at this point that cllr Anderson made direct reference to cllr Kiely and made a passionate plea.
Cllr Anderson said: “Politician’s reputations are not great at the best of times but there is a danger that we are all being tarred with the same brush here.
“Local residents may well feel that we are all the same”
Cllr Kent was also quizzed on how the investigation into cllr Kiely is progressing.
Cllr Kent said: “This is a matter being dealt with out-with the Thurrock Labour group.”
The irony appeared to be that the no-show councillor spends a lot of his tome campaigning against other politicians being given a platform at other events.
There is also an irony in that the councillor spent last week campaigning against tuition fees. However, the money he has “earned” as a councillor, could pay for a student from Ockendon Academy to go to university.
Cllr Kiely fulfils the minimum requirement if he attends a council meeting every six months. He is due for re-election in May 2015.