Councillor admits he didn’t have time to take up Hammerwich Parish Council seat

A councillor has admitted that he didn’t have the time to take up his seat on Hammerwich Parish Council.

Conservative representative Cllr Ken Humphreys currently represents Hammerwich on Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council after winning a seat in the elections in May.

But he failed to sign the agreement to take up his spot on Hammerwich Parish Council.

Cllr Ken Humphreys

Cllr Ken Humphreys

Cllr Humphreys said an increased workload for elected members was to blame.

“It was down to a lack of time,” he said. “Being on the district council and all the other things going on, I never got round to it.

The Boundary Commission changed everything as you’ve now got a lot more electorate to look after and it makes for a busy life.

“It used to take me about 10 hours a week for district and five for Burntwood Town Council and Hammerwich Parish Council, but now it’s a lot more than that.

“It’s not quite a full time job now but it’s getting on that way.”

Cllr Humphreys did not rule out returning to the seat in future, but said he felt it was time for fresh faces to become involved in local politics.

“I’ve been on the council for 20-odd years and there was no election this time because there is never enough people,” he said.

“I might very well go back. There are always vacancies, but there is simply lack of time for me a the moment.

“Every time there was a meeting I wasn’t available and I was not able to go and sign the acceptance forms.

“We should be looking for new councillors. If you look at the average age of councillors now, we’re knocking on a bit.”

But Burntwood Labour councillor Sue Woodward criticised her Tory counterpart’s stance.

She said: “For Cllr Humphreys to turn his back on the electors shows a complete contempt for democracy.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

8 Comments

  1. Sue woodward

    26th September, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    This is absolute tosh. As an experienced councillor, he knew beforehand exactly what the time commitment is – and it’s the same for all of us. If his attendance at meetings were 100%, I’d have more sympathy for his excuse, but it’s not and I don’t. Cllr Hunphreys, as I’ve said, has just shown his contempt not only for his electors but also for his Conservative colleagues who selected him. On top of this, he wanted to be Chairman of Lichfield District Council! Thank goodness he isn’t.

  2. Steve Norman

    26th September, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    A: He’s retired, B: He chose (to the chagrin of at least one of his colleagues) to move from a Burntwood ward to a Hammerwich ward and C: You can find time to represent electors on the County, District and Parish councils and still be part time employment.
    I think the clue is in the ‘…and all the other things going on”.

  3. Thornton

    26th September, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    We live in a democracy. Just don’t vote for him next time.

  4. Rob

    27th September, 2015 at 11:53 am

    He kept labour out, that’s the important thing.

  5. grumpy joe

    28th September, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I find it difficult to comprehend an experienced Councillor did not know what he was committing to at the time of his nomination. The boundary changes have made a marginal difference to the number of constituents of each Councillor so I find it difficult to accept that his workload has increased dramatically. Is this lack of foresight typical of the shortsightedness of Lichfield District Council?
    It seems now that the Council cannot estimate its financial commitment to Friarsgate according to the Director of Finance – surely after nearly ten years of talking about the centre that it would have some idea of its costs. What do the LD Councillors and Senior Officers do all day? I feel sorry for the council workers who do not even receive the Living Wage.

  6. Keith Willis-Croft

    29th September, 2015 at 11:13 am

    If councilor Ken Humphreys has not got the time to return his acceptance forms to take up his position as a councilor for Hammerwich he should not have stood for election not only is he a disgrace he has let the electorate down.

  7. Jamie

    29th September, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This is absolutely ridiculous. It is not a shock surely to know the amount of work and time it takes to adequately represent the people you serve. Being in this position should be an honour and something to be taken seriously. I’m sure not everyone can work and be a councillor but a man with his experience should know better. A let down for democracy and the people.

  8. R.Brain

    2nd October, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    If Ken Humphreys hasn’t got time for his constituents then he should find time to resign from Politics completely. He is an utter disgrace and did his Party no good. It’s time for a change to a reliable person with no problems.