Thursday, 19 April 2012

Liberal Democrat's Attendance at Meetings Slumps to New Low

Cllr. Malcolm Leaning, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward), a Nettleham Parish Councillor, is revealed to be the poorest attending member of Nettleham Parish Council.

Cllr. Leaning, has been ranked as the poorest attending member of Nettleham Parish Council in figures attached to the  Chairman's Annual Report. Cllr. Leaning - who is both a district and parish councillor - is known to enjoy extensive holidays away from representing his constituents. This has lead to a slump in the number of meetings he has managed to attend.

In the third year running, figures showing the attendance of Nettleham's Parish Councillors have been attached to the Chairman's Annual Report. On average Cllr. Leaning's colleagues attended between 82%-97% of their meetings.  It would be remiss not to mention that Cllr. Leaning, having both district and parish roles, will potentially have diary conflicts; but such a low figure of attendance brings in to question the viability of fulling the expectations of  local residents to do both functions properly. The wards second district councillor and county councillor, Cllr. Ray Sellars, Liberal Democrat (Nettleham Ward and Nettleham & Saxilby Division), has sensibly not re-joined Nettleham Parish Council after stepping down in 2010 - but even he managed an attendance figure of 69% that year. The county council also meets during the daytime, whilst the district council in the evening.
Cllr. Leaning's figure is even more surprising when considering that his presence was only required at the 13 Full Council Meetings (of which he managed to attend 7). Other councillors take on significant additional roles and contribute hundreds of hours a year to help the village. The parish council's Deputy Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. Janice Clayton, was expected to attend 30 meetings during 2011-12, achieving a 97% attendance rate. Meanwhile, Cllr. Alf Frith, who was expected to attend 20 meetings during 2011-12, achieved a 90% attendance rate.

Cllr. Leaning hasn't attended a single meeting since the start of the year and was notably absent from the meeting held on Tuesday, 20th March 2012 - when many villagers turned out to express there concerns over controversial plans to develop a 'custody suite' at Nettleham Police Headquarters. Local residents can only hope that Cllr. Leaning will make an effort to improve his attendance.

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