Councillors must go to at least one full council meeting or to a committee which they are a member of under a new section added to Tendring District Council’s Constitution.
Legally councillors must attend at least one meeting every six months otherwise they cease to be a councillor, but this can be just as an observer. Exemptions can be approved by full council in some circumstances.
But now, after a revision to the Constitution, councillors in Tendring are required under their own rules to attend as an appointed member of that committee, or as an appointed substitute, at least every four months – or a meeting of full Council.
If they fail to do so, it will be formally recorded at the next full Council meeting.
A motion introducing the change was passed by Tendring District Council (TDC) last night at a full Council meeting with cross-party support. It does not change the legal requirement.
Neil Stock, TDC Leader, said the public expected elected members to work hard on their behalf.
“I am glad that here at Tendring District Council we now have a Constitution which expects more of councillors than the legal minimum,” he said.
“Every single member has a role to play in the workings of the Council, whether you are the leader or Cabinet member, or an opposition ward councillor. You are democratically elected, and you must serve your ward and your district to the best of your abilities.
“Being a councillor is a privilege, and especially when we are provided with an allowance to help us carry out this honourable role we must all work hard to justify that privilege and allowance.”