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Canvey Island Independent Party councillor Gail Barton booted out for failing to attend meetings for six months
A CANVEY councillor who failed to attend any meetings for six months has been kicked off the council.
Gail Barton, who was elected to Canvey East ward, in 2012, is no longer a member after she failed to turn up to a single meeting since November.
The Canvey Independent Party representative, who earned a basic allowance of £3,195 a year, last went toameeting on November 20.
Ms Barton said she was finding it difficult to juggle her job and her responsibilities as a councillor.
A council spokeswoman said under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, Ms Barton was automatically removed from her position.
She added: “She was informed in good time that if she failed to attend the development control committee, on May 6, she would cease to be a member of Castle Point Council.”
Ms Barton, of Gafzelle Drive, Canvey said there were a number of reasons she didn’t attend and claimed she was planning to step down anyway but didn’t want to disrupt the recent elections.
She said: “There were a few crossed wires with regard to the date and times and number of meetings.
“I was already in the process of drafting a resignation statement.
"I was very disillusioned and struggling with my work in London to get back in time for the meetings.
“I still worked hard for my residents.
"But it was frustrating I couldn’t always do things I wanted to do, I realised it wasn’t always possible to help people how I thought I would be able to before I got elected.”
She added she had only missed three full council meetings – but rules stipulate she could also have attended any of six planning meetings in that time, despite not being a member of the committee.
Canvey West Conservative Ray Howard said: “People when they are elected must realise it’s a big responsibility and it will take up a lot of their time.
“I’ve given 46 years to it and I’m still learning every day.”
Canvey Independent Party leader Dave Blackwell said: “I expect my members to turn up to the council. If they’ve got a problem I expect to be informed, and she hasn’t given me a reason.
“She’s let the party down, let herself down.”
He added: “I feel the whole thing could have been handled better if the council had informed me, I heard nothing until afterwards.”
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