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Trelawny councillor defends attendance record

Published date: 31 March 2014 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
Read more articles by Owen Evans  Email reporter


 

FLINTSHIRE councillor who lives in Yorkshire has defended his record after a petition was launched calling for his resignation.

People in Flint set up the petition last week calling for Cllr Trefor Howorth to resign, stating his attendance at meetings was so poor he should stand down from his post as Trelawny ward councillor.

The petition cited the fact that his attendance record at council meetings since March 2012 was just 28 per cent, and in the last six months he has attended only one of the seven scheduled full council meetings in Mold.

Cllr Howorth moved to Bradford after his wife Margaret died from cancer in 2012.

He hit back at the petition’s claims, arguing his constituents were being well represented and that he always followed up issues when contacted by people living in his ward.

Cllr Howorth said his attendance could be seen as low, but this was due to the “abnormal situation” he faced.

He said: “I attend meetings at regular intervals. I get all the council notices of meetings.

“I get enquiries and asked to help by telephone and email and I deal with them. I am aware of what goes on and I speak to my fellow councillors regularly.

“If anybody has got any enquiries, I’m very pleased to help them.

“I still have a property in Flint Mountain, which I visit and I speak with people there.”

Labour colleague and Flintshire Council leader Aaron Shotton, said: “The vilification of a man who has served the people of Flint for nearly 40 years is distasteful and is timed to coincide with an important by-election in the town. Trefor is a loyal servant to his ward.

“I am aware that Cllr Howarth does not intend to serve a full term due to his change in personal circumstances and I would ask that people give due respect to Trefor and any decisions that he may make, in a time that appropriate for him – particularly after all the  many years of selfless service that he has given to his community.”

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

Since March 2011, out of 40 scheduled meetings the councillor has been present at 11. 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 its 16 meetings.

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

Cllr Howorth added: “Those who don’t get their way will always get upset, but I carry out my duties.

“I would be very pleased if they got in touch with me by email.

“I have discussed this with my colleagues and they have asked me to carry on for a bit longer.”

Nathan Griffiths, who set up the online petition, previously said: “He [Cllr Howorth] should be made to resign to give way to another candidate, who is committed.”

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 website.”

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