St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor defends her attendance figures after its shows she went to just over half of her meetings

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has published a list which shows some councillors are only attending half of their meetings.

Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger who represents the Fornham Ward was among the lowest with 53 per cent attendance, or nine out of a 17 meetings.

“There was a particular committee I missed several times because of business or family commitments but I always had a substitute.

“Some of them clashed with my councillor work. I go to parish council and residents meetings to hear from people I represent.

“Most committees make recommendations to full council. All the most important decisions are made at full council and I only missed one of those.

“If I know there is a really important issue, especially with regard finance and tax payers money, I bend over backwards to make sure I’m there.”

Eleanor Mc Grath, campaign manager for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the council should make the list easy to find on-line.

“Councillors get their allowances no matter how much time or energy they actually spend on council business,” she said.

“Serious questions must be asked of those missing a significant number of meetings.”

Among those on 100 per cent was cabinet member David Ray, Patrick Chung and new Cllr Julia Wakelam although she in fact has only attended two out of a possible two meetings.

Cllr David Nettleton said he missed out on a 100 per cent after a special meeting was called while he was still recovering from an operation.

See the list in full at: http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/your_council/documents/reports/D359%20Members%20Attendance%20Statistics%202012-2013.pdf