Brent councillor who moved to Brighton fails to attend vital meeting in the borough
PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:13 08 February 2013
Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037
Cllr Rev David Clues holds on to Dudden Hill seat despite moving 80 miles away
A councillor who refuses to give up his seat despite moving to Brighton failed to attend a vital meeting last night despite being the vice chair.
Cllr Rev David Clues was an absentee at the Partnership and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee which discussed cuts to policing in the borough.
In December 2011, the Liberal Democrat politician moved 80 miles away but refused to step down from his position in the Dudden Hill Ward.
The meeting was a chance for councillors to hear the borough’s top police officer, Chief Superintendant Matthew Gardner, give a comprehensive run down on policing priorities in Brent and the problems faced.
A councillor who sits on the committee told the Times: “It was very important. We were discussing with police the future changes that will be happening within the police force and the impact it will have on our residents.”
Cuts to the police force have resulted in Willesden Green Police Station being sold and Harlesden Police Station set to lose its front counter.
Cllr Rev Clues was formerly the vicar at St Mary’s Church in Neasden Lane, but has since moved to St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton.
Unless he gives up his seat, he can continue to claim his councillor’s allowance of £7,974 per year, provided he attends one meeting every six months.
According to the council’s official attendance figures Cllr Rev Clues has attended 33 per cent of his meetings in the last six months.
Unlike the two Labour Dudden Hill councillors, Cllr Rev Clues does not hold scheduled surgeries in his ward and under current rules he is not obliged to.
According to his profile on Brent Council’s website, residents are invited to contact him by phone or email so he can make an individual appointment for them.
Cllr Rev Clues did not respond when the Times attempted to call him.
A spokesman from the Brent Liberal Democrat office later said that Cllr Alison Hopkins attended on behalf of Cllr Rev Clues but Cllr Hopkins claimed the meeting had “little specific detail” for residents.
She said: “I have been closely involved in tackling crime and community safety issues, so attended in David’s place to ask the Borough Commander questions.
“Unfortunately he had to pull out so sent one of his officers who simply gave a presentation from the Mayor’s Office of Crime and Policing (MOPAC) that councillors have already seen. This had very little specific detail relevant to Brent.”