Councillor meeting attendance requirement waived after vote

Redbridge Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Redbridge Town Hall. - Credit: Ken Mears

Redbridge councillors voted last night (September 23) to waive the requirement for councillors to attend at least one meeting every six months to avoid being disqualified. 

A report prepared in advance of the vote explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the ability of some councillors to attend in-person meetings, with several considered to be at-risk. 

It added that other councillors were susceptible to picking up the virus from unvaccinated children and that some may be required to isolate without warning due to the NHS Covid app. 

The Coronavirus Act included temporary measures allowing local authorities to hold remote meetings but these expired on May 7 and meetings now have to be held in person. 

Before the vote, Cllr Linda Huggett, leader of the Conservative group, said: “At the moment if someone attends virtually, where the committee meets in-person like it has tonight, they cannot participate, they cannot vote and they are only recorded in most scrutiny committees as an observer. This needs to change. 

"If councillors are only allowed to be an observer, then from the public perspective it looks like they can’t be bothered to turn up.”