Councillors yet to arrange ward surgeries

ELEVEN councillors have yet to arrange ward surgeries - more than 40 days after being elected.

Rotherham Borough Council’s website has profile pages, where each of its 63 members can advertiser where and when they will be available.

Labour members Kerry Albiston, Leon Allcock, Jenny Andrews, Amy Brookes, Maggi Clark, Jayne Senior and Bob Walsh, plus UKIP’s Sandra Marriott, Alan Napper, Kath Reeder and Nigel Simpson had still not announced details earlier this week.

Valley ward resident and ex-councillor Michael Sylvester said: “They reached 40 days as a councillor on Tuesday (14), by which point they will have collected £1,270 each in allowances.

“There are other ways of getting in touch with councillors, but emails are no good for the little old lady who is used to that face-to-face meeting.

“Surgeries are one of those things that people do expect of their councillors. Being able to walk into your village hall and see your councillor is part of being able to hold them to account.”

He added: “The Valley and Rother Vale wards have had no surgeries from any of their three councillors so far.”

Holding surgeries is not compulsory but RMBC advises that members hold them regularly.

Local Government Association guidance acknowledges the growing use of Skype but says people expect to have access to their councillors through traditional routes like surgeries.