Mr Perrin’s Blog: “No council meetings, no pay!”

Mr. Perrin’s blog: “A Word in Your Ear”

A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled “Should Councillors be on Zero Hours Contracts?” I wrote the article because I noted that it was a rare occurrence, if ever, that all 49 Councillors were present at “Full Council” meetings,. I also noted that at meetings of committees I attended, such as “Overview and Scrutiny” , all too often there were “apologies” from absentee Councillors.

I ask the question again because the absenteeism has become “wholesale”, i.e. meetings are just arbitrarily cancelled, the main reason being “insufficient business”.
however the reason for the cancellation of the September meeting of Full Council appears to be a concern that it would prevent councillors involvement with National Party Conferences. I presume that to mean if they were at a Council Meeting they would be unable to watch Conference proceedings on TV or whatever.

I would point out that most Party Conference business is over and done with long before most Council Meetings start at 7 p.m.

Record of meetings of Full Council 2018:-

31st January Held
28th February Held
21st March Cancelled
25th April No meeting due to Local elections (Purdah)
23rd May Held Annual Full Council but largely ceremonial
27th June Held
25th July Held
29th August No meeting {Summer break}
26th September Cancelled
31st October Scheduled
28th November Scheduled
26th December No meeting (Christmas break}

In addition there were the following number of cancellations of Committee Meetings:-
9: reason given “insufficient business”
7: no reason given
1: reason given Local Elections (Purdah)

So far this year a total of 21 meetings have been cancelled, most of them because of “insufficient business”. If Councillors had been on Zero hours contracts they would not have been paid.

I do not wish to tar all Councillors with the same brush, but there are some who shirk their responsibilities and do the absolute minimum, just enough to ensure they qualify for their cash allowance.

Unfortunately the current perception is that Councillors will seek any excuse to cancel meetings and minimize the amount of time they spend on Council business.


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