Absent councillor kicked off committee

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A TOWN councillor, who has not attended a council meeting since July 2010, has been removed from a committee due to his repeated absence.

Cllr James Dinsdale is a Conservative member of Bury St Edmunds Town Council elected to represent Westgate ward, but the last time he attended a council meeting was on July 28.

He has now been removed from the council’s staffing and employment committee due to his failure to attend meetings.

According to council papers, he has not offered the council reasons for his absences.

Reasons cited by other absent councillors have included work commitments and holiday.

When contacted by the Bury Free Press, Cllr Dinsdale declined to comment on his absenteeism.

The council has the power to remove a councillor from a committee after three absences because of a standing order it has created, but it has no legal power to remove a councillor from the council altogether.

The chairman of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, Christopher Turner, also declined to comment on Cllr Dinsdale’s absences or on whether he believed it was important for councillors to attend meetings to put forward the views of the electorate.