A new councillor who was taken seriously ill within days of his election has been allowed to remain on Dacorum Council - despite not yet being able to attend a single meeting.
Under the Local Government Act any councillor who hasn’t attended at least one meeting in a six-month period faces disqualification. But members of Dacorum Council have agreed that that should not apply to Tring Central councillor John Bowden, who was elected on May 7. At a meeting of the full council, leader of the Liberal Democrat group Cllr Ron Tindall said that Cllr Bowden had been taken ill within a week of the election. He told members that Cllr Bowden was responding well to treatment and that his health was improving. And he said the new councillor was looking forward to resuming his duties soon. The six-month non-attendance period in the legislation can be extended if a councilor’s failure to attend was due to a reason approved by the authority - so long as that decision is taken before the six-month period has expired. And at the meeting members of Dacorum Council agreed that Liberal Democrat Cllr Bowden should be able to remain on the council, without attendance, until May 7, 2020. As well as a seat on the full council, Cllr Bowden is also listed as a member of Health in Dacorum, licensing and health and safety enforcement committees. Dacorum councillors considered the request at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, September 18.