An investigation by the3towns has revealed that some Labour councillors often fail to attend committee meetings of North Ayrshire Council.
are paid a basic salary of £16,234 and receive expenses to assist them in
carrying out their duties. However, three Labour councillors in particular have
a poor record of attendance at meetings held to discuss issues of importance to
The worst 'offender' is former Labour MSP Irene Oldfather,
now a councillor for Irvine East. All councillors are members of the Local
Development Plan Committee, which considers a wide range of issues relating to
the future of North Ayrshire. However, Cllr Oldfather has failed to attend four
of the five meetings held by the Committee in the past year.
Mrs Oldfather has missed 65% of meetings held by the Appeals Committee, which
meets to consider appeals made by Council staff in relation to disciplinary
matters. The Labour councillor has also been marked absent from 67% of meetings
held by the Police, Fire & Rescue Committee.
Also with a poor record
of attendance are Saltcoats & Stevenston Labour councillor Jim Montgomerie
and his party colleague Joe Cullinane (Kilwinning). Councillors Montgomerie and
Cullinane recently failed to turn-up for a meeting of the Council’s Scrutiny
Committee, despite having tabled a Motion to be heard that day.
Montgomerie has missed 71% of meetings held by the Ardrossan & Arran,
Saltcoats & Stevenston Area Committee, which takes decisions affecting local
residents in the Three Towns. In addition, Cllr Montgomerie was absent from 43%
of Local Review Body meetings and 60% of Local Development Plan
Joe Cullinane has missed 10 of 19 meetings held by the
Planning Committee and was absent from 60% of Local Development Plan
Following a request by Independent councillors Ronnie McNicol
and John Hunter, North Ayrshire Council now publishes the attendance records of