Monthly Archives: February 2019

Bristol City Councillor attendance and absence

On the 24th of October 2018, I queried councillor attendance at meetings they were expected to attend. The data is at the following link and I have queried from the beginning of 2015 until October 2018.

Only currently active councillors have any data attached to them.
Note that reasons for not being in attendance can include being unwell, maternity leave, etc. Margaret Hickman for example has stated that she had been unwell.
There’s some additional insight in this following article by Local Democracy Reporter Amanda Cameron. Quoting then-Labour councillor Harriet Bradley, it is pointed out that:

“Many of us are standing down at the end of this term because of the workload and stress,” she said, as an investigation by the Local Democracy Reporting Service reveals that fewer than half of Bristol’s 70 councillors have turned up to every full council meeting this year, according to council records.

Six councillors, four from the Labour group and two Conservatives, have shown up to just three or four of six meetings, the records on Bristol City Council’s website show.

The striking thing about the high percentage of absences from councillors is that for a period of time, the lowest attendances were from the Lawrence Hill councillors.
The following data table is from the time period August 2019 to January 2020. Margaret Hickman’s percentage attendance [not shown] was 92%, while her fellow Lawrence Hill councillor’s is down to 40%.
august 19 to January 20
But the data can be misleading. Councillor Mike Langley is no longer at the council after having died in 2019. Councillor Liz Radford has been on sick leave. The reasons aren’t given.
We also don’t know from this top level data, which meetings weren’t attended and what effect this may have had on constituents, if any. That would be interesting to investigate.