Stoke & Staffordshire

'No show' Cannock Chase District councillor removed from seat

Joanne Christian Image copyright Cannock Chase District Council
Image caption Joanne Christian was elected to the council in 2015

A district councillor has been removed from her seat after failing to attend a single meeting in six months.

Joanne Christian, who was last seen at a Cannock Chase District Council meeting in January, accrued £2,900 allowances this year, the council said.

George Adamson, leader of the Labour-controlled council, said it was council policy to be removed for not attending meetings for six months.

The BBC tried to contact Ms Christian, a Tory councillor for Hednesford South.

For more Staffordshire news

Mr Adamson believed it was "rare" to lose your seat over non-attendance.

"I have not heard of this for a long time. If people can't attend meetings they would usually resign rather than it become an embarrassing situation," he said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The councillor missed five full council meetings as well as committee meetings

He said in exceptional circumstances, such as illness, an extension can be granted, but the council had not heard from her.

Ms Christian, whose roles included being on the economic development and standards committees, has also missed five full council meetings.

She was entitled to a basic allowance of £5,339 a year and £400 annually for communications, such as phone use, which she would have received about half of, the council said.

A council spokeswoman added the basic allowance was "intended to recognise the time commitment of all councillors, including such inevitable calls on their time as well as meetings with officers and constituents and attendance at political group meetings".

"We don't know one way or the other what constituency or other work she may or may not have undertaken in that period," she added.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites