A COUNCILLOR’S failure to attend a single meeting in six months has triggered a by-election just weeks after Worthing went to the polls.
Castle ward’s David Potter has been thrown off Worthing Borough Council for failing to meet the minimum attendance requirement.
Mr Potter’s Liberal Democrats colleagues were even worried for his safety on Friday, nearly calling the police after numerous failed attempts to contact him.
Worthing Lib Dem leader Keith Sunderland said: “Apparently, his party membership expired a while ago so we can’t even expel him. It’s very frustrating.
“We know a number of councillors are under pressure with things like relationships and jobs but I feel we have been badly let down and so should the town.”
Mr Sunderland said he had been assured Mr Potter would attend mayor-making on June 13, which would have seen him scrape the minimum attendance requirement.
Mr Potter did not appear, however, and colleagues were left frantically trying to track him down.
Mr Sunderland managed to establish with his workplace on Friday he had taken a weeks’ holiday.
Council leader Paul Yallop said he was ‘appalled’ at the Lib Dems’ handling of the situation.
He said: “Their leader should either have spoken to me to see if a motion could be put to council to extend the period of non-attendance, or arranged for him to resign before the local elections so a by-election could be held with other elections, saving taxpayers around £7,000. They did neither.”
Newly-elected Castle ward councillor Luke Proudfoot said: “David Potter has shown a complete lack of caring and responsibility for not only the residents of Castle ward but also Worthing as a whole.”
The council confirmed Mr Potter last attended a meeting on December 17.
He was in breach of section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.
Mr Potter was unavailable for comment.