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Witney town councillor defends poor attendance record
CALLS have been made for a Witney town councillor to resign, after he attended only one meeting in the past year.
Nick Buckle made it to just one out of 26 meetings held between May 13 last year and April 22 this year.
The Conservative councillor said he had been affected by setting up a new business and health issues, but vowed to attend more meetings in the coming year.
Labour councillor Duncan Enright said: “People need to ask ‘is he actually going to do the job that he’s elected to do?’ “It’s not very fair to the rest of us, who work really hard, and I would like to see him step down.”
Independent councillor David Snow, who resigned from the Conservative Party last year in protest in protest at the legalisation of gay marriage, said: “It’s morally wrong and is just depriving someone else of that seat – I know there are so many people who would like the opportunity.
“I might still be Conservative-leaning in my thinking, but I would rather see someone who’s from a different party in that seat than someone who does nothing.”
Mr Buckle, who joined the council in 2007, said he had struggled to attend meetings after setting up an aerial and satellite dish installation company last year.
He has also had health problems and suffered a bout of jaundice after being diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in 2002.
But he said he would get to more meetings now that he had switched from the planning committee to the amenities committee.
Mr Buckle said: “I don’t see a need to resign, now that I’ve taken positive steps.
“My attendance was impeccable for the first four years but circumstances have changed and I’ve had to take a step back, but not from my responsibilities.
“I’m always there for the people who have elected me and they can contact me via the council’s website.”
Mayor Jeanette Baker said: “His input when he has been able to make it has been invaluable. He’s very much part of the town council team.”
Town clerk Sharon Groth said councillors only had to attend a meeting every six months to stay on the council. She said Mr Buckle had also attended a meeting of the BMX/skate park working party.
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