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Figures reveal councillor attendance record at Lichfield District Council

The attendance record of elected members of Lichfield District Council has been revealed.

Award-winning data journalist Sandro Sorrentino, from UKByNumbers, has examined the register of council meetings for LichfieldLive.

Among the key findings are:

  • The average attendance before authorised absences was 69%
  • Fazeley councillors had the lowest overall ward attendance with 56%
  • Leomansley, Stowe and Longdon wards had the highest overall average attendance with 94%
  • Five councillors had overall attendance of 100%
  • After authorised absences are taken into account, UKIP’s John Mills – who resigned yesterday – had the lowest attendance with 45%

(Note: Councillors can be required to attend different numbers of meetings during the period – all figures are based on their individual average)


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  1. A Better Burntwood

    15th March, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Nice use of graphs/charts.

    Average of 69%, not great for those who keep walking our streets, knocking our doors, wasting paper on leaflets, all just to beg us to give them power over our area.

    As well, lets all give a round of applause to the 5 councillors who went out of their way to attend all the meetings they were assigned.

    I do have a few questions to those councillors who will read this.
    – What’s wrong with District Board meetings?
    – Where’s my Chase Terrace Reps at?
    – Where is the opposition? 4/5 of those 100% are Cons, and 1 Lab. Surely if you were the opposing party, you’d be there to scrutinise the Cons as much as possible to help your future chances.

    Either way, very enlightening to say the least. Lets purge this inefficiency, and start selecting local people who want to better their areas and not their party/ wallets/ ego.

  2. Alan White

    15th March, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I think it is right and proper that councillors should be held to account for their attendance and I voted to support the new pay regime at Lichfield District Council. The attendance figures give the headline numbers, but I think it would be appropriate for me to explain my attendance levels in a bit more detail.

    By way of background, I am also a County Councillor and hold the portfolio for Health, Care and Wellbeing. This past year has been particularly busy: money we expected to receive (£15M) from the NHS for the Better Care Fund was not delivered, resulting in some additional work and changes to services that we provide; and the creation of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan resulted in many meetings about the future of health and social care in Staffordshire. I also have work commitments and family commitments, but because LDC meets in the evenings, I am usually able to avoid clashes.

    I do think it is important to have strong connections between the County Council and the District Council. Many people I speak to don’t recognise the distinction between the two, and tend to simply refer to “the council”. In areas and at times where there haven’t been strong relationships between the two tiers, understanding and trust often breaks down to the detriment of the citizens we represent.

    I missed three full council meetings during the reporting period. On 17 May 16 I had been summoned to the Department of Health and the Department of Local Government in London for a 5pm meeting to find a way forward for the Better Care Fund impasse. On 12 Jul 16 I was with colleagues explaining the future of Health and Social care at meeting at Keele University which started at 6.30pm. On 21 Feb 17 I was meeting with the Chairs of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent health care system to build relationships as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan; the meeting started at 7pm in Stone.

    I missed two Scrutiny Committee meetings during the reporting period. On 9 Jun 16 I was presenting a business innovation award at the Worcester Arena. On 30 Jan 17 I was attending a board meeting at work.

    I hope this gives some background and context and illustrates that ‘he just didn’t show up’. I do believe that in a representative democracy we need people from all walks of life with many different backgrounds and interests: that gives us a chance of making better decisions.

  3. Phil

    15th March, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Find out who your councillors are at and maybe write to them to praise/question their attendance record.

  4. Toast

    15th March, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Nice work LL & Sandro!

  5. Ross

    15th March, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks – major credit to Sandro though who worked hard to get some very complex figures visualised.

  6. Sue Woodward

    15th March, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    In response to the query about Chase Terrace members in particular, I am pleased to report that my own attendance is recorded as 100% but please note, too, that Cllr Eric Drinkwater applied for and was granted compassionate leave for 3 months prior to the end of 2016. This was reported to and endorsed by Council – completely open and transparent, unlike some other leaves granted but not reported. You may also like to check the attendance figures at Burntwood Town Council which are, I beleive, available on the website.

  7. Five Spires Live

    15th March, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Great stuff, well done. No wonder some councillors have been so eager to explain themselves over the past couple of day!

  8. Ann

    16th March, 2017 at 9:16 am

    An excellent piece of investigative journalism, which is sadly missing from the Lichfield Mercury.

    Well done Ross.

  9. Eric.N.Drinkwater

    16th March, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I would like to respond to the person questioning Chase Terrace councillors and where they are. Yes it is quite right that elected representatives should have attendances scrutinised. However I would like to say that my record over thirty years has been second to none and as Sue Woodward has said my recent absences were granted through a proper request and agreed by everyone. These absences have been through a problem I would not wish on anyone and are completely out of character but if the anonymous person wishes to expose themselves I can explain my actions and the reasons why.

  10. A Better Burntwood

    16th March, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Well, thanks for the answers to one outta three of my questions.

    Woodward & Drinkwater, please relax. If informed correctly, then I understand the reasoning behind it, although the data above should make a clear understanding of it!

    You 2 are the most well-known Lab councillors from the Burntwood Village, and you do a good job. You speak in most meetings, whereas the other folks just sit there, passing time and trying to deceiver why they agreed to run as a paper candidate….

    Though, it is still a shame to see only a handful of representatives present their views/ reasons for their inefficiency/ lack of attendance.

    Enjoy your town meeting tonight you two.

  11. Ken

    17th March, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Poor old Alan. Did the nasty big boys at central government not give you the money they promised and make life all difficult and horrid for you? And after you’d done so much to get them elected. How ungrateful!

    Maybe you need to make some new friends, hun?