IT IS always a very proud day for any new councillor, when they attend their first ever council meeting.
On Wednesday night, the new Labour, Conservative and UKIP councillors took their seat at the first meeting of the year.
Many were joined by friends and family as they settled into they new roles and then settled into their new rolls at the buffet afterwards.
But there was one councillor missing. East Tilbury councillor, James Baker was not there.
UKIP group leader, cllr Graham Snell made his apologies.
Cllr Snell later explained why cllr Baker was absent.
He said: "James was late getting into work because of the disruption to the trains yesterday morning and had to stay later than anticipated which meant he was going to be late for Council.
"When it became clear, just before Council convened, that he was still some way off, it was decided to proceed without him and make his apologies".