A FAR-right councillor who attended only three meetings in two years while claiming £25,000 has been removed from the borough council for failing to turn up at all for more than six months.
John Gamble (54)—who was elected as a British National Party councillor but later switched to the England First Party, before briefly being a member of the National Front—last attended a council meeting ten months ago, on February 2.
He showed up for just three meetings out of a possible 16 after becoming a councillor in May 2008.
As a member, he was paid his full annual allowance, which amounted to £12,130 for the current year.
He has also been reported to Rotherham Borough Council’s standards committee for allegedly abusing members of council staff.
Mr Gamble, who took the Brinsworth and Catcliffe seat off then Labour Mayor Allan Jackson by a majority of 61, would have been up for re-election next May.
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Within a year of his election, Mr Gamble was disowned by the BNP and stripped of the party whip.
After initially joining England First, he switched to the extremist National Front, but claimed that he was unaware of it being a whites-only group.
Mr Gamble’s jump to the NF was followed a few days later by him leaving and returning to England First—his third switch of allegiance in less than 12 months.
But according to the EFP website, Mr Gamble is no longer a member—and failed three times to turn up to meet EFP representatives.
Mr Gamble was also arrested in December 2008 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend after police were called to a late-night incident at his Brinsworth home and later released without charge.
In the previous August, Mr Gamble stunned anti-racism workers when he tried to buy tickets for the Love Music Hate Racism gig which attracted 4,500 people in September, organised to protest against his election.
Former Brinsworth Labour councillor Reg Littleboy said that the last meeting Mr Gamble attended was in February.
He added: “He is also being reported to the standards committee for abusing members of staff. He is a disgrace to Brinsworth and Catcliffe.”
Concerned taxpayer Paul Goodhirst contacted the Advertiser because he said that he was “fed up with people lining their own pockets at the public’s expense.”
Office worker Mr Goodhirst, who lives in Maltby, said: “He’s received £25,000 over 26 months and attended three meetings, which works out at about £8,300 per meeting.
Put me down for some of that, please.
“Quite frankly, he has made no pretence of doing the job.
“He’s never even held a surgery. He’s made a fool of himself.”
A spokeswoman for the borough council confirmed that Mr Gamble had been automatically disqualified from membership of the council by virtue of the 1972
Local Government Act for failing to attend any meetings of the authority during the past six months.
She added: “The disqualification will be officially reported to the full council at its meeting next Wednesday and the vacancy publicised shortly after.
“However, there will be no by-election for the vacant position because the vacancy has arisen within six months of the election for the seat in May, 2012.”
Mr Gamble was unavailable for comment.