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Residents call on Flint councillor to stand down

Published date: 28 March 2014 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
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ANGRY residents are calling for a Flintshire councillor who lives in Yorkshire to step down.

Householders in Flint say Cllr Trefor Howorth's attendance record at County Hall meetings in Mold is so poor he should resign.

A petition has now been launched calling on the Bradford-based Labour representative to give up his seat, citing his attendance record at council and committee meetings since March 2012 of just 28 per cent.

In the past six months the county councillor for the Trelawny ward has attended one of the seven scheduled meetings of the full council, recording an apology on two occasions. He is not a member of any council committees.

Since March 2011, out of 40 scheduled meetings the councillor has been present at 11 and while he was a member of the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee between July 2012 and January 2013, he did not attend any of the 16 meetings organised.

The petition – started on the change.org website – said Cllr Howorth “rarely attends meetings and doesn’t even live within the county”.

On the council website his address is recorded as c/o Flint Town Hall.

Nathan Griffiths, who set up the petition, said: “The petition is to lobby Flintshire Council for the resignation of county councillor Trefor Howorth, who no longer lives in the county and very rarely attends meetings.

“He should be made resign to give way to another candidate, who is committed.”

Flint resident Geraldine Lever said: “When something else in your town shuts down, you think what are the councillors doing?

“He hardly ever attends any meetings.

“It feels as if councillors are only going [to meetings] when they have to.

“Whoever is in his ward, how are they going to get hold of him?”

Cllr Howorth could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Flint town councillor Terry Renshaw,  a member of the former Clwyd County Council, said: “It is not the first time and it won’t be the last time that somebody has been elected and they’ve moved out of the area.

“It is something the electoral body should be looking at – how long does somebody hold on to a seat when they’ve moved out of an area?

“It is something I personally would not do.”

But Cllr Renshaw said Cllr Howorth, a Labour colleague, was available via email and was still heavily involved in council matters digitally.

He said: “If a member doesn’t attend, the council has the right to strike them out of office. If he wasn’t complying with that, he would be struck off but he has complied.

“He has been an excellent councillor over the years. Has been excellent for his ward.

“He hasn’t broken any rules. If anybody has got a problem, why haven’t they contacted him?”

Gareth Owens, Flintshire Council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: "A councillor must attend at least one meeting every six months.

“Cllr Howorth has attended the required number of meetings.

“He is still dealing with ward business and his contact details are available on the council’s website.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: wonderwho at 09:32 on 28 March 2014 Report

    Simple rule should be introduced that a councilor should live in the county (not ward) before they can be a councilor is this man still on full councilor allowance from Flintshire

  2. Posted by: dukedom at 10:03 on 28 March 2014 Report

    Yes, in receipt of full allowance since he left area around January/February 2012 (!), I understand

  3. Posted by: kevinweston05 at 15:15 on 28 March 2014 Report

    He is obviously not missing the closure of Flint Hospital! I expect his address and bank details are correct for his expenses!

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