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Southwark Council Elections 2010

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Thursday 22 April 2010 4.24pm
So 15 Councillors (around 1/4 of them) attended less than 2/3rd's of the required meetings in the latest council figures......should we expect more? After all they are only required to attend one every six months. Surely there should be higher expectations than that!,news,19229,440,00.htm

Councillor Attendance - Latest Council Figures over six month period (20 MAY 2009 - 30 NOV 2009)

BELOW 68% (15 Councillors)

Paul Noblet (LD) 55% - Standing again
Linda Manchester (LD) 61% - Standing again
Helen Jardine Brown (LD) 25% - Missed 9, failed to notify council on 4 occasions
Jelil Ladipo (LD) 60% - Standing again
Mary Foulkes (LAB) 53%
Evrim Laws (LAB) 27%
Danny McCarthy (LAB) 17%
Gordon Nardell (LAB) 68% - Standing again
Andrew Pakes (LAB) 25% - Missed 15, failed to notify council on 5 occasions - Labour Parliamentary Candidate in Milton Keynes
R Smeath (LAB) 67% - Standing again
Dennis Capstick (LD) 40% - Standing again
Jeff Hook (LD) 45% - Standing again
Lisa Rajan (LD) 67% - Standing again
Michelle Holford (CON) 68%
Ola Oyewunmi (LAB/LD) 46% - Missed 7, failed to notify council on 4 occasions - Standing again (for different party)
Thursday 22 April 2010 4.41pm
I think you can excuse Denise Capstick (active service overseas) and Danny McCarthy (serious illness) their attendance stats. I'm sure others may also have good reasons.
Thursday 22 April 2010 5.17pm
Linda Manchester does licensing committee, so she does her bit really (though I think she agrees those license applications far too readily!!). I agree on Denise and Danny and I'm suprised Danny managed 17% considering quite how ill he's been.
Thursday 22 April 2010 5.24pm
Zoe wrote:
I'm suprised Danny managed 17% considering quite how ill he's been.

If I remember correctly (and I am sure I will be corrected if wrong) there was a rather unseemly (to my eyes) episode when the Lib Dems forced Danny to attend a meeting under threat of him losing his seat under the 6 month rule. Obviously there are arguments around representation etc.. but I personally thought that was wrong.
Friday 23 April 2010 9.38am
It's also just not that simple. For example if as a Councillor you have a choice between going to a Council scrutiny committee to question the Executive member for paperclips on what colour the paperclips should be, or going to a Residents' Association in your ward to talk about how the new off licence has resulted in anti-social behaviour increasing late at night, why should we assume the Council meeting takes priority?
Friday 23 April 2010 12.55pm
I'm surprised by the lack of available information about any of the candidates standing in my ward (South Bermondsey). Generally they don't even seem to be named on the campaign leaflets or the local parties' websites, which is slightly alarming.
Friday 23 April 2010 1.01pm
You'll find all the candidates for your ward here:

Several more pics and biographies have arrived this morning - so check back for updates.

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Friday 23 April 2010 1.08pm
South Bermondsey is the only one with a BNP candidate. No surprises there.
Friday 23 April 2010 1.36pm
beetroot wrote:
South Bermondsey is the only one with a BNP candidate. No surprises there.

It looks like they're half-heartedly trying to target the area. I don't think they'll do very well.
Friday 23 April 2010 4.46pm
If you follow some of the arguments on here then the 3/4 of councillors who do manage to go to 70% or more of council meetings (including the majority of the Council Executive) will spend less time visiting TRAs or other community groups - yet one of my councillors isn't on the list and still manages to maintain a high local profile! In any event these figures include attendance at community council meetings - which are not stuffy council committees, but an opportunity for local people to question the council and meet their councillors. Sadly for me, three of those listed are on my community council and I havent seen one for the best part of a year!

I can only go on my own experience, other posters may have added insight as party members or know these people as friends - I'm more concerned as a council taxpayer and service user. Are people seriously arguing that councillors who attend 25% of meetings are able to effectively scrutinise an organisation with a 300m budget on our behalf? This is after all THE major provider of public services in Southwark!

In my view some of the candidates elected in 2006 have turned out to be less than satisfactory once in office or have simply lost interest. However, instead of removing them, and risk by-elections in often closely contested wards - the political parties overlook these failings to protect their power base in the Council. The parties then de-select weaker councillors but only after their four year term is up (or in some cases dont de-select them at all!). I just feel there is a strong case for new rules to require councillors to repay some of their allowances if they failed to attend a reasonable number of meetings or repeatedly fail to send apologies for absence. Others may disagree, but for me these 63 people are our eyes and ears in the Council and we have few benchmarks to judge their effectiveness - this one at least seems reasonable to me.
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