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Vote of no confidence after meeting no-shows

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Cold Ash parish councillor says he is too busy to attend all sessions but wants to stay in role

COLD Ash parish councillors are expecting to take a vote of no confidence against a councillor

who has failed to turn up to several recent meetings.

The parish council has decided to hold the vote against councillor Richard Crumly next month after it was reported that this municipal year he had attended just one of the eight meetings so far and last year he went to only 12 of 23 meetings, and did not sit on any of the committees.

However, this week Mr Crumly, who also sits on Thatcham Town Council and West Berkshire Council, said that he thought the vote was unjust as he had valid excuses for his absences, and that his secretary always sent his apologises.

He said: “As far as I understand it, they cannot remove me from office.

“It's not like I just didn't turn up. There are 11 councillors; if I'm not there, the other 10 can manage it.

“My plate had been full with other matters.”

He cited the elections, holidays, a stay in hospital and the fact that his roles on the town and district councils took precedence as the reasons for his no-shows but said that he was happy to remain a parish councillor.

During a meeting in May, the chairwoman of the parish council, Corinne Rust, said that she had to present the planning applications to the meeting as Mr Crumly had refused, for the fifth time, to take his turn on the planning rota.

The parish council refused to comment further on the situation, although council rules state that a member can be dismissed if they fail to attend any meetings for six months.

Mr Crumly said that because he attended the last parish council meeting, on August 23, that would “keep him going for a while”.

He admitted that he had refused to take his turn on the rota for planning application presentations.

He said: “There are 10 other parish councillors, could they not share the rota between them?”

He added that he was unhappy with the current system for dealing with planning matters and thought that the way that Thatcham Town Council organised it, with one person appointed to do the job, was better.

He said: “When I see it at Thatcham, that's the way I would like to see it done but they [parish council] won't follow my lead.”

He said that because of his busy life he could not take it on but thought one of them should.

The vote will take place on Tuesday, September 27.

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