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Councillor under influence of alcohol

0 votes
Anyone have experience of a member, attending a meeting,  under the influence of alcohol?

We had a meeting this week and the Chairman had a strong smell of alcohol on his breath.

His behaviour was disturbing.

How should this be addressed?
It is not the first time this has occurred.
by (1.0k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
This is a difficult one. One of my biggest concerns about Zoom meetings last year was the amount of alcohol being openly consumed during meetings.

As a Clerk, I would have a quiet word with the individual about their conduct, but I realise that not everybody would feel able to do this. If it isn't the Chair we're talking about, perhaps the Chair could be asked to have a quiet word. The mere fact that it has been noted might be sufficient to make a difference. Many drinkers believe that nobody notices.
by (35.2k points)
0 votes
As Dave says a difficult one. Of course a councillors conduct dictates integrity on their part and I am sure that someone "smelling of alcohol" is in its self not bar to taking their place at a meeting. Being drunk and incapable is of course difficult to assess even for the police.

Disturbing behaviour by a chair is not in itself unusual( read these pages) or in the eye of the beholder, and as stated this is a case for a "friend" of the person to have a quiet word.
It may well be that the council has a case of someone suffering from progressing alcoholism and needing help to tackle it with support and understanding which includes helping to overcome the problem or realism as to the effects of their actions are impacting on the council.
by (12.2k points)
Thank you Davetheclerk and Mentorman for your advise and worldly wisdom .
 In this case it was the Chairman but two others have previously attended meetings reeking of alcohol. All three are just out for kudos and too slow progress.
Unfortunately our Clerk was late due to traffic so unable have a quick word.

Another saga, another dysfunctional meeting hey ho.
Irrespective of what causes it Councillors behaviour is subject to the Code of Conduct

Unless you record the meetings either as a body or as an individual it’s one persons word against another

Be very careful what you say as there’s a big difference between smelling of alcohol and being drunk
Thanks Jules yes I've finally started to record meetings. Out of courtesy I did tell the Clerk but members are unaware which frankly suits me.
I will leave alcohol related stuff for  the Clerk to address.  Thanks again for your comment.

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