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6 month rule

0 votes
Hi all,

I am from Wales.My local community council have 5 councillors who have not been present at meetings(zoom ) for the last 12 month period.One of the community councillors told me that the six month rule has been overlooked/relaxed because of the exceptional circumstances.ie Covid.I have read through all the minutes of the meetings up to and since their absence and nowhere does it say that councillors are excused from office because of the pandemic.I suppose this  could have been communicated to them by the clerk of the council via phone or email,but quite frankly if they can answer the phone or use email they can operate a zoom session..
My question is simple,have the rules been relaxed due to the pandemic?.And if so is at whose discretion.
Many thanks
pendragon
asked by (160 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I am based in England and unless our Welsh counterparts have alternative legislation, the Local Government Act 1972 s85 still stands and has done so for the entire pandemic.  It would not have been anything decided at community council level but nationwide.
answered by (16.8k points)
Hi MrsAbster<
thankyou for that,I will contact the welsh assembly and see if,as the national governing body,they have issued any info on this.My local CC in the normal course of things are little short of a closed shop,but now I have discovered that several members haven't even bothered turtning up to zoom meetings for the last 12 months.
I will keep let everyone know what the welash assemblies answer is.
Regards
pendragon
0 votes
As far as I'm aware, the six month rule still applies to Welsh community councils, You may want to contact http://www.onevoicewales.org.uk to ask your question but my advice would be to not mention the council in question as you may find barriers being put up to getting an answer - sometimes it is better to get the information you need to present to the council

I was at one time a council representative on this organisation, but they would only answer questions if they were presented by the clerk or chair of the council (which made it difficult to get clarification of potential problems that the clerk/chair did not consider problems)
answered by (370 points)
0 votes
The pandemic was unusual circumstances - as a councillor does not get any payment for doing council duties, is it correct that a council insist on internet availability. Not everyone owns a smart phone or is indeed comfortable with the internet. There may have been special measures put n place but I do agree these should have been documented.
answered by (5.5k points)
Internet access isn't required. Several of my members participated in Zoom meetings by telephone.
Our use of telephone participation in zoom has not been very successful many because some of our councillors only have pay as you go phones and thus 2 hour zoom meetings eat up their data and even though there are reasonable phone contracts out there it is a personal choice.
If they're not prepared to make minor adjustments to equip themselves for public life, it raises issues regarding their suitability, but if their personal circumstances prevent this, the council has powers to provide the necessary equipment. My neighbouring parish has recently purchased an iPad for every member plus the Clerk.
This has been muted but not everyone is computer technology minded and to be inclusive we need to make reasonable adjustments but at what stage / cost do you stop. Some of our parish are critical if the precept goes up with inflation and the minimum wage, pension rises have affected councils not only through staffing but also indirectly through contract work. It all has a knock on effect.
The issue now is that if they haven't participated in a meeting for more than six months at any time since their election, as Mrs Abster said, they're no longer a member of the council and the vacancies should be filled in the normal way, which leaves the door open for them to rejoin, but the process must still run its course.

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