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Councillor attendance rates discussed

The attendance records of councillors in the Royal Borough have been revealed.

Figures show that since the last council elections in May 2015, Conservative councillor Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) missed just two meetings out of a possible 237.

His namesake, Clewer South councillor Ed Wilson, had 98 per cent attendance by making 106 out of 108 meetings while Belmont councillor Marion Mills boasted a 97 per cent record.

Council leader Simon Dudley paid tribute to the hard work of outgoing Independent councillor Malcolm Beer, who will not be standing for re-election in his Old Windsor ward after 24 years of service.

He attended 190 of 199 meetings over a near four-year period.

The late Jesse Grey, who passed away suddenly in October, also received recognition for his service which saw him attend 81 per cent of his 199 meetings during his tenure.

At the opposite end of the scale, Cllr Asghar Majeed (Ind, Oldfield) had the lowest attendance rate out of all the serving councillors with 49 per cent, and Cllr Claire Stretton (TBF, Boyn Hill) has attended 59 per cent.

Cllr Dudley told a full council meeting on Tuesday: “This is a useful tool to seek efficiency of our councillors and understanding people’s voting record moving forward is important.”

Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park), deputy leader of the council, told the meeting that the report should not be used to ‘point the finger’ at councillors.

He said: “This report is about attendance, it’s not about people making excuses.

“People understand that you can’t necessarily make 100 per cent of meetings but at the end of the day there are mums and dads and family issues that have to come first.

“You can see a numbers trend and who the hard-working members are and I think most members want to do their best.”

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