Council accused of wasting cash

ICKLESHAM Parish Council has been accused of causing unnecessary expense to the tax payer after drumming out one of its members.

Winchelsea member Richard Comotto was disqualified for missing six meetings which could now result in an expensive by-election being called.

Mr Comotto said: “I missed a series of meetings due to travel abroad.

“One meeting I missed because the council changed the date. I duly sent my apologies for absence to the Clerk and they were minuted.

“Then, after I attended the May AGM of the council, I received a notice of disqualification, as the council had not formally accepted my apologies, even though it had not refused them or even discussed them. This is a sudden change in council procedure. It has always been assumed that apologies minuted were accepted

“I have no doubt that this is seen by some councillors as a neat way of getting rid of a councillor who does not share their views, like their famously unsuccessful attempt to bring charges of misconduct against Winchelsea councillors a couple of years ago, but all it means is a by-election at unnecessary expense.

As one of the few councillors who works, I am inevitably going to be called away.

“However, I continue to do the hundred and one things that a responsible councillor does, even if I cannot get to meetings, such as co-ordinating Winchelsea Neighbourhood Watch and the Emergency Group, lobbying about poor roads, trying to get the parish council to maintain its property in Winchelsea, and assisting with the very successful Diamond Jubilee.”