Two town councillors booted out for ‘falling foul’ and not attending meetings

Stapleford Town Council offices (credit: Stapleford Town Council)
By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

Two councillors have been booted out of Stapleford Town Council for failing to attend meetings.

The council met on Friday, July 29, to declare that two casual vacancies were now open after the ward councillors for Stapleford North and South-West were dismissed.

Cllr Eileen Atherton (Cons), who also serves on Broxtowe Borough Council, will no longer be a town councillor for Stapleford North.

Cllr Daniel Gibbs (Lab) will also lose his seat on the town council for Stapleford South-West ward.

The meeting heard how the councillors had “fallen foul” of the Local Government Act and are immediately terminated.

Both councillors did not attend one meeting over a six-month period, which they are required to do so as part of the elected role.

Cllr David Grindell (Lib Dem), who covers Stapleford South-East, said it would be extremely costly to run an election for two seats, potentially running into thousands of pounds.

He said: “We have three more council meetings after this. To be honest, they should stay on statute – because the election is coming up next May and I don’t see why we should waste money for an election on two seats.

“I am not happy about this, but I understand why it is on here, but I think they should stay, and we won’t have to pay money.”

The council said the decision is “enshrined in law” and the matter cannot be deferred for further investigation.

Cllr Tim Hallam (Lib Dem), who covers Stapleford South-East, said: “It is set in stone and there is nothing we can do about it.

“There were exemptions granted during Covid and on health but, really and truly, it would be stretching it. I don’t think anyone has any desire to call an election, but we may get some new councillors which want to contribute.”

The council noted the elapse of office of the following councillors due to non-attendance at meetings of the authority and formally declared the vacancies of Eileen Atherton, Stapleford North Ward and Daniel Gibbs, Stapleford South-West Ward.

Both councillors were contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service for a comment. Cllr Gibbs was not available while Cllr Atherton said she did not wish to comment on the matter.

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