CONCERNS have been raised about attendance at Blaenau Gwent Council scrutiny meetings after it was revealed the number of members turning up is falling.

At a meeting of the council's democratic services committee this week, councillors and officers voiced their concerns over the attendance record.

Corporate performance manager Gemma Wasley said attendance at scrutiny meetings had fallen since the first quarter of this year and was lower than last year.


The council’s democratic arrangements and scrutiny progress report highlighted the dip in attendance.

Attendance in the second quarter of 2019-20 was 59 per cent, which is lower than the previous three quarters, when it was 72 per cent, 69.2 per cent and 77.9 per cent respectively.

The joint safeguarding committee has seen the lowest attendance between April to September this year. Although there was just one meeting of this committee, only 11 out of 22 members turned up.

However, the regeneration scrutiny committee saw the highest attendance over the same period, with 86.6 per cent of members turning up. Thirteen of the committee's 15 members attended the meeting.

Cllr Clive Meredith said it was part of the duty of a council member to turn up to every scrutiny meeting they are required to.

He said: “I feel there are lots of members here that attend regularly but there are others who if you see them walk into a meeting you think ‘I haven’t seen them for a long time.’

“We are going to have to find a solution for attending meetings as we need scrutiny meetings to be full.

“There are just some members who can’t be bothered to turn up.”

Committee chairman Cllr Malcolm Cross said: “There are people who work full time during the day, and they can’t always make it to meetings.

“However, there are some people who work full time and are very conscientious and still manage to turn up.”

The committee members have recommended the report for approval by the full council, who will consider it in the coming months.