Residents have been told that living 190 miles away does not prevent a councillor from being an “active member” of Burntwood Town Council.
Cllr Brenda Rigby, who represents the Conservatives in the Summerfield and All Saints ward, has changed her address to one in Alston, Cumbria.
There have been calls for Cllr Rigby to stand down, but a statement from Burntwood Town Council said that she continued to be an active member.
“Cllr Brenda Rigby was elected as a Member for the Summerfield and All Saints Ward at the parish council elections in May 2015,” the statement said. “Subsequent to those elections she has moved and her new address is shown on the Burntwood Town Council website.
“Cllr Rigby continues to be an active member of the town council and her change of address does not alter that.”
But Labour councillor Darren Ennis, who lives in Cllr Rigby’s ward, said living at least a three-and-a-half hour drive away from the council’s headquarters at the Old Mining College meant it was unfair on local residents – particularly given email and telephone contact details have also been taken down.
“Cllr Rigby is my councillor on Burntwood Town Council and I am very disappointed that I cannot contact her directly, and that all contact has to be done through the council offices,” he said. “Hence, this means that I have no direct contact with my own councillor.
“Also, I feel the disappointment of the hundreds of constituents who voted for her to represent them.
“If I was in her position and decided to leave the area, I wouldn’t continue to hold onto the seat and have to travel a 280 mile round trip to do so.
“It is unfair on the area that the councillor cannot represent it, it is unfair to the voters that elected her to be their voice, and it leaves Burntwood Town Council with one less active councillor throughout most of the year.”
According to Burntwood Town Council’s records, Cllr Rigby has attended four of the six meetings of the council, together with a meeting of the burial grounds committee of which she is a member.