Boston councillors’ attendance highlighted - as one member is kicked off today for not showing up

Elliott Fountain
Elliott Fountain

Boston’s two English Democrats councillors are revealed to have the worst attendance records – with one to be kicked off the authority today for failing to turn up to any meetings for six months.

Elliott Fountain has not shown up to a meeting since the full council assembled on January 24.

David Owens

David Owens

He would have been able to keep his seat by attending Monday’s full council meeting – which he says was his intention – but that was postponed due to a lack of business.

The rules – set out by the Local Government Act – state members must attend at least one meeting in a period of six consecutive months.

As a result the Fenside councillor will lose his seat today (July 25) and a by-election will be held on September 5.

Coun Fountain told The Standard he did not believe he will lose his seat, saying he would be ‘gobsmacked and shocked’ but when the news was confirmed he said he had ‘mitigating circumstances’ and would challenge the decision. He did not wish to discuss the matter further.

We have published the attendance record of all councillors - just under a year after we last highlighted which members missed meetings they were due to attend on behalf of voters.

Coun Fountain made it to just eight of 29 meetings since the start of 2012/13.

Only one councillor, fellow Fenside English Democrat David Owens, has a worse record, turning up to just four of 27 meetings.

He attended the full council meeting on May 23 meaning that, unlike Coun Fountain, he meets the attendance requirement set out by law.

When we ran the story last year Coun Owens had attended four of 33 meetings and said he had hoped to get to get to more after moving jobs.

However, he said his work now means he is often in Hull and unable to get back to Boston in time for meetings.

He said he still helps out people with ward issues and argued he found many meetings pointless because he was unable to change the mind of the ruling Conservatives.

He said: “There’s still a desire from my boss to get me nearer to home which obviously will allow me time to get to all the meetings that I am eligible to attend.”

He promised that if his working arrangements do not change then he will consider not standing again at the next election.

Coun Owens also said it would be a shame if his fellow Fenside English Democrat was kicked off the council.

He said: “He’s a member of the Fenside community through and through and does have some great ideas about what people feel and think. He would be a loss because he is a voice of people that live in the town.”

FACTFILE: Councillors’ attendance

The attendance records in full for councillors since the beginning of the 2012/13 council year.

The total shown is the number attended out of the amount they are due to attend, including committees that they sit on:

○ Stuart Ashton 4/13

○ Alison Austin 35/38

○ Richard Austin 19/25

○ Mark Baker 23/25

○ Peter Bedford 24/30

○ Mike Brookes 29/35

○ Colin Brotherton 29/34

○ Maureen Dennis 36/39

○ Elliott Fountain 8/29

○ Mike Gilbert 28/30

○ Paul Gleeson 33/36

○ Paul Goodale 23/25

○ Yvonne Gunter 42/45

○ Paul Kenny 26/31

○ James Knowles 20/28

○ Alan Lee 23/23

○ Richard Leggott 21/21

○ Bob McAuley 4/4

○ Paul Mould 32/34

○ David Owens 4/27

○ Frank Pickett 36/41

○ Derek Richmond 41/42

○ Brian Rush 9/11

○ Gurdip Samra 28/34

○ Raymond Singleton-McGuire 22/26

○ Judith Skinner 21/23

○ Gloria Smith 28/35

○ Ossy Snell 25/30

○ Aaron Spencer 14/17

○ Helen Staples 14/16

○ Carol Taylor 24/34

○ David Witts 19/29

○ Stephen Woodliffe 32/33

○ Mary Wright 42/45

Councillor Bob McAuley replaced Paul Mould and Coun Stuart Ashton replaced Brian Rush.