Councillor pledges to improve after only attending one meeting in six months
A councillor who has attended just one meeting in six months has vowed to improve her attendance record to represent her community.
Tamsin Lodge, who was elected to Broadland District Council in 2015 for the Horsford and Felthorpe ward and acts as member champion for young people, has attended no parish council meetings at Horsford and only one since July 2016 at district level.
Jim Graves, clerk to Horsford Parish Council, has written to leader of Broadland Andrew Proctor about the issue, but there are no disciplinary procedures available until a councillor fails to attend six months of meetings.
“She started off her council career as a very keen and enthusiastic councillor, willing to learn and get involved,” said Mr Proctor. “Regrettably that has trailed off dramatically in recent months. My job is to ascertain what has changed her attitude. She knows what she needs to do, and she needs to do it.”
With their other district councillor for Horsford Joanne Keeler declaring an interest in plans for 259 homes in the village, residents have no district councillor working on their behalf on the development.
There is no requirement for district councillors to attend parish council meetings but concerns have been raised over lack of contact.
“She seems to have gone off the radar,” said Mr Graves. “We are very concerned that with things like this big development in Horsford we haven’t got any representation on Broadland District Council.” County councillor Tony Adams has been giving his time to represent Horsford with planning officers at a district level for the David Wilson Homes application in the absence of Ms Lodge.
Miss Lodge has said her poor record is due to the fact she has had a promotion at work and now works varying shift patterns.
“I have been unable to maintain the level of attendance I have previously,” she said. “I will try to attend as many meetings as possible. Councillor Proctor does not wish me to resign.”
Ms Lodge, a Conservative councillor, is eligible to claim a £3,567.60 allowance for her work at Broadland.
Attendance record at Broadland District Council
February 2016: 4
March 2016: 4
April 2016: 4
May 2016: 2
June 2016: 1
July 2016: 1
August 2016: 0
September 2016: 0
October 2016: 1
November 2016: 0
December 2016: 0
January 2017: 0
February 2017 to date: 0