Councillor booted off council for not attending meetings standing again
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A councillor whose seat was declared vacant for not attending a meeting for more than six months is standing to take it back.
The candidates for two Rhondda Cynon Taf Council by-elections in Penrhiwceiber and Llantwit Fardre next month have been announced.
Councillor Gavin Williams was a Cynon Valley Party councillor for Penrhiwceiber but on March 10 full council voted to declare his seat vacant because he had not attended a meeting for more than six months without permission.
The Local Government Act 1972 requires a member of a local authority to attend at least one meeting of that authority within a six-month consecutive period unless permission for the absence is granted by the authority in advance.
Without advance permission to be absent, loss of office is automatic and permission cannot be granted retrospectively.
Given the gap in meetings, recording of councillor attendance restarted in July last year and the report to full council said Cllr Williams had last attended a meeting on March 4, 2020.
The report said that all efforts had been made to contact him and that support was offered for him to attend virtual meetings.
But Mr Williams is standing to take back the seat as an independent and is one of three candidates for the by-election.
The other two are Daniel Allen of Plaid Cymru and Ross Williams of Labour.
The by-election will take place on Thursday, May 6 along with one for the Llantwit Fardre ward.
Councillor Mike Diamond was an independent councillor for Llantwit Fardre but stood down for personal reasons.
There are six candidates for this seat including Ioan Bellin of Plaid Cymru, Graham Colk of Labour, David Payne of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Tizard-Lee an independent, Sam Trask of the Conservatives and James Williams an independent.