Attendance records of Merton councillors finally made public
Merton Council has finally made the attendance records of councillors at official council meetings public.
Prior to the change, which was introduced fully this month, councillors’ attendance had gone unmonitored, despite being paid thousands in allowances by the taxpayer to attend relevant meetings.
In September last year Merton Council refused a Freedom of Information request by the Wimbledon Guardian for a breakdown of councillor attendance records since May 2010.
A spokesperson for the council at the time said they did not analyse council attendance data and therefore it was not available.
This month a system to monitor and make available the attendance records of councillors online was finally launched.
The statistics show that for November 40 out of the council's 60 councillors achieved full attendance with 17 missing one meeting.
Conservative councillor David Dean missed four meetings while Conservative councillor Suzzanne Grocott and Ray Tindle both missed two.
Each councillor receives a basic allowance of £8,694 and those with additional posts are entitled to special responsibility allowances (SRA).
At the top of the SRA scale is the council’s leader, Coun Stephen Alambritis who received £33,027.72 for the 2012/13 financial year in addition to his basic allowance.
Attendance figures can be viewed on Merton Council's website.
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