A Liberal Democrat councillor has insisted “quality is more important than quantity” when it comes to attending meetings.
The issue of attendance came to the fore after it emerged that just 13 of 47 elected representatives turned up to an annual briefing on social housing.
Figures revealed that Lib Dem Cllr Paul Ray missed four of the 13 meetings he was expected to attend, giving him an attendance of just over 69% for the year to date. Rules introduced last year mean councillors who do not reach 75% will have a month’s worth of allowances deducted.
But Cllr Ray – who also stood for the party at the last general election – insisted he could be an effective member of the council even if he did not turn up to every meeting.
“Quality is more important than quantity,” he said. “I’m not one of those councillors who just sits there during meetings. I read all the papers and speak at the meetings.
“Also, the attendance figures do not take into account the many other meetings I attend where I am trying to get some change or action for the district, such as recent meetings with the chief executive of the council to explore how to get more affordable house building moving, or with the planning department and the developer to move the stalled development at the Windmill pub site forward.
“And I’m active in the community meeting with other bodies like Beacon Street Area Residents Association, Fusion Credit Union and Staffordshire Highways.”