VALE COUNCIL IS FORCED TO PUBLISH ATTENDANCE RECORDS OF MEMBERS

The Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry

The Vale of Glamorgan Council HQ in Barry

In last night’s meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, a motion to publish the attendance records of all councillors and put them on the Council website was carried by just one vote .

Like a previous motion on publishing council votes, the motion had come from Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully)  and Cllr Christopher Williams (Independent Dinas Powys).

Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully) moving the motion to have councillors' attendance records published

Cllr Kevin Mahoney (Independent Sully) moving the motion to have councillors’ attendance records published

Cllr Mahoney said  his motion would require that “All councillors attendance records at full council and all other committees of which they are members be clearly displayed on their members’ page on the Vale of Glamorgan council website, and updated monthly.”

Cllr Mahoney told members that he always put his attendance records on the website every year adding “most other councillors have,  themselves….not” . Very many other councils however did publish the attendance records of councillors . It was always accepted – he said – that councillors could not make every engagement. 

For the second time last night Cllr Ian Johnson (Plaid Buttrills Barry) came to the support of Cllr Mahoney. He said it was “fairly normal ” for councils to display the attendance records of councillors .  The details should be quite simple to find – and he thought that the information should be updated after every single meeting.

However Cllr Johnson said “attending a meeting , in itself, although you are able to participate and vote, does not mean you actually do anything”. Cllr Johnson said that every single meeting of the full council and its all committees should be broadcast  to the public. Currently the committee minutes only indicated that “a member” had said something – but didn’t identify the speaker.

Cllr Johnson said that “democracy doesn’t come cheap” but the Vale of Glamorgan Council was responsible for spending £200,000,000 a year  and electors and taxpayers “should be able to see what we do and judge us accordingly” . He had a message for councillors seeking re-election next year “if you are scared of being broadcast or having your attendance record scrutinised then perhaps you are in the wrong position and should consider where you are in May” .

Cllr Richard Bertin (Court Ward Barry) supported the need to make proceedings more open and transparent. The information should be put clearly on-line and not “concealed in minutes”.

The result of the vote – which was unrecorded and by show of hands – was  22 FOR and  21 AGAINST.

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6 Responses to VALE COUNCIL IS FORCED TO PUBLISH ATTENDANCE RECORDS OF MEMBERS

  1. About time this happened , most councillors of Vale of Glamorgan have for far too long regarded their positions as a ride on the gravy train.

  2. Who were the 4 missing Councillors last night ? There are 47 on the Council in all, so some clearly did not make it !

  3. Big Davey says:

    We have far less transparency than we do with MPs, why should these PAID servants not be made to disclose their voting history. What could they possible have to hide?

  4. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Thank you for the report, I would like to point out that every Labour councillor present voted to reject the motion to highlight their attendance records.

    And also that Chris Williams independent councillor for Dinas Powys was absent because he had gone into hospital for an operation the day before.

  5. Paul Fenton says:

    Thank you Kevin Mahoney for your efforts in highlighting this issue. I personally find it incredible, if as you say, that every labour councillor voted against disclosing their attendance records. Can any Vale labour councillor in their defence give an explanation why they voted to reject the motion to highlight their attendance records? Furthermore this highlights the necessity to know how each councillor votes in all matters, particularly the planning committee.

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