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Conservative councillor disqualified for non-attendance

Thatcham West representative removed from district council and resigns as town councillor

Conservative councillor disqualified for non-attendance

A THATCHAM district councillor has been kicked off West Berkshire Council – for not attending meetings. 

Nick Goodes has also resigned from his role on Thatcham Town Council owing to his work commitments. 

Mr Goodes was elected to represent Thatcham West ward at the district council and Thatcham Town Council in May 2015.

But the Conservative councillor has been disqualified from office for not complying with West Berkshire Council’s constitution.

Council rules state that if a member doesn’t attend a meeting of the council for six consecutive months, they will cease to be a member.

Mr Goodes last attended a West Berkshire Council meeting on July 4, 2017.

He was expected at four meetings afterwards; being absent for three of those and sending apologies for another.

Between May 2015 and March 1 this year, Mr Goodes attended 13 (41 per cent) of the 32 meetings he was expected at. 

Mr Goodes sent apologies for seven of those meetings. 

He has also resigned from Thatcham Town Council and a by-election will be called to fill his Thatcham West ward seat on the town and district council.

The Newbury Weekly News contacted Mr Goodes for comment, but he was unavailable. 

West Berkshire Conservative Party agent for the 2015 elections, Dominic Boeck, said that Mr Goodes’ work demands had outweighed his council commitments.

Mr Boeck, who represents Aldermaston on West Berkshire Council and Thatcham South and Crookham on Thatcham Town Council, said: “He found it very difficult to meet his obligations and he regrets that he sadly had to put his job and family first.”  

After being elected in 2015, Mr Goodes told the NWN: “I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled.

“I have a young family and I want to be part of the community.

“In my previous job I was travelling a lot, but I always got the Newbury Weekly News sent out to whatever country I was in.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved and if I can help, then great, and I’ll try and be a good representative for the local community.”

However, the leader of the district council’s Liberal Democrat opposition, Lee Dillon (Thatcham North), claimed residents deserved better.

He said: “The Tory councillor has been kicked off the council for non-attendance and I welcome him resigning from the town council, where he has been absent many times as well; only turning up so the six-month rule didn’t kick in.

“The residents of Thatcham West deserve a hard-working district councillor like they did before, when people like Lib Dem councillor Jeff Brooks represented the ward at West Berkshire Council level.

“We will be contesting the by-election and hope that residents join us in sending a clear message to the Tory council that their tax rises and cuts to services have gone too far.” 

The Conservatives, Newbury Labour Party, West Berkshire Green Party and Newbury UKIP are also believed to be fielding candidates.

A by-election will be held on Thursday, April 19.

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