The leader of Lichfield District Council has fired off an email to councillors revealing his “disappointment and embarrassment” after less than a third of them turned up to a meeting.
Just 13 of 47 councillors turned up at an annual briefing with Bromford Housing Association on February 28.
The meeting had been scheduled to allow elected representatives to learn about future plans and initiatives Bromford were working on.
But after little more than a quarter of councillors attended, Lichfield District Council leader Mike Wilcox fired off what he described as a “rant” to his colleagues.
“I cannot hide my disappointment and embarrassment that so many of you could not manage to arrange your diaries to accommodate this session,” he said. “The hosts had provided not only their offices, but also fed and watered those of us who were present.
“When our partners arrange in advance this type of presentation, we owe it to all of those we represent to do our best to attend as Bromford or another housing provider would almost definitely have a presence in all of the wards we represent.”
Cllr Wilcox’s email comes after research by LichfieldLive last year revealed that in the five months since the local elections just 17 councillors had attended 90% or more of meetings, while two had been at less than half of their scheduled meetings.
And his latest email shows that questions are still being asked of the local authority’s elected representatives.
Cllr Wilcox continued: “For your information, 12 of our officers were in attendance – including our CEO – who were keen to hear what plans were being developed by Bromford for the future.
“The plans they presented were well received by everyone, and we gave our commitment to continue to work with Bromford to see how together we could create new opportunities in the future.
“There was also an opportunity to ask questions as well as raise any issues or concerns members had.
“I will say no more but hope that in future I don’t end up having to write this type of rant again.”
Cllr Wilcox has previously threatened his councillors with the axe unless they pull their weight.
And while his latest criticism was aimed at representatives of all parties, the local authority leader told LichfieldLive he felt his email needed to be sent.
He said: “As councillors we have an obligation represent the voters of Lichfield and Burntwood.
“It is particularly important given this was a briefing with a key partner of the council. I sat there afterwards and felt something needed to be said so I had a little bit of a rant at them.
“Some apologised because they had other commitments, but some did not have a reason not to attend.
“I hope they get the message now.”