After a couple of years of improvement, attendance rates of councillors at Swindon Borough Council meetings stagnated in 2010. On average, across all councillors the attendance rate was 84%, which is not a significant change from 2009 when the rate was 85%.
In terms of attendance rates, the top 5 councillors of 2010 were:
- Mr Heenan: 35 meetings out of 35 – 100%
- Mr Montaut: 28 meetings out of 28 – 100%
- Mr Tomlinson: 11 meetings out of 11 – 100%
- Mr Parry: 45 meetings out of 46 – 98%
- Mr Wright: 32 meetings out of 33 – 97%
Another 16 councillors attended over 90% of the meetings they were recorded against, a decrease from 22 who were in that position in 2009. Three councillors attended over 50 meetings during the year, including two of those with attendance rates above 90%.
The councillors with the worst attendance rates (60% or less) in 2010 were:
- Mr Wiltshire: 16 meetings out of 27 – 59%
- Ms Heenan: 14 meetings out of 24 – 58%
- Mr Smith: 10 meetings out of 20 – 50%
- Mr Cherry: 3 meetings out of 7 – 43%
- Mr Dobie: 5 meetings out of 12 – 42%
- Mr Fanning: 5 meetings out of 14 – 36%
- Mr Sammels: 1 meeting out of 5 – 20%
Of those, three ceased to be councillors last May, whilst Mr Dobie, Mr Smith and Mr Wiltshire are saving themselves from having to explain their poor attendance by not seeking re-election at the elections later this week — consistent poor attendance since they were last elected in the cases of Mr Dobie and Mr Wiltshire. That leaves Ms Heenan, elected only in May 2010, who clearly has a lot to learn about attendance at council meetings from her son Mr Heenan. Compared with 2009, although the number of councillors not attending many of their meetings is little changed, for those councillors in this group their individual attendance rates have got far worse.
The figures are derived by taking an entry in a meeting attendance page of ‘Present’ or ‘In attendance’ as meaning the councillor was there, and any other entry as meaning that they should have been there but weren’t. Full details of all Swindon Borough Councillors’ 2010 meeting attendance rates are available in the archive.