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Councillor Seeks Permission to Continue Despite Long Term Absence

Published on: 7 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 9 Apr, 2013
Cllr John Garrett

Cllr John Garrett

The future of Cllr John Garrett (Con, Lovelace) as a councillor will be decided at next Thursday’s (April 11th) full meeting of Guildford Borough Council (GBC).

The councillor is receiving treatment for cancer and the treatment has prevented him from attending council meetings for almost six months. He last attended a meeting on October 16th 2012.

It is a rule that any councillor who does not attend for six months has to discontinue his or her service, unless given permission to continue from the other serving councillors.

Permission to continue is being sought by Cllr Garrett even though he cannot say, because of his health, that he will be able to attend meetings for the next six months. If he is allowed to continue he would qualify to receive his councillors’ allowance of a little more than £4,000 but may elect not to take it.

John Garrett agenda item

Extract from the council agenda item due to be debated at the next Full Council Meeting on Thursday, April 11th

Cllr Garrett was originally nominated to be the Guildford’s mayor for 2012/13 but was replaced in a late change, ostensibly because of health reasons. At the same time, next year’s Mayor elect, Diana Lockyer Nibbs (Con, Normandy)  also stood down as the nominated Deputy Mayor.

A council spokesperson concluded by saying: “…if the Council does not accept the reason for his [Cllr Garrett’s] continued absence, then under the six month rule he will cease to be a councillor and a vacancy will be declared … in all likelihood a by-election [would then] be held.”

Please click here to see the agenda item in full.

The decision on Cllr Garret’s future comes in the wake of three resignations from other councillor’s, Wendy May (Lib Dem, Stoughton), John Randall (Con, Ash Wharf) and Doug Richards (Con, Ash South & Tongham) whose personal circumstances were making it difficult for them to regularly attend council meetings. By-elections in the wards they represented are to be held on May 2nd. Click here to see the full borough by election nomination lists on the GBC website.

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