[T]oday, Carlisle City Councillor for Stanwix Rural, James Bainbridge, has raised with Carlisle City Council’s Senior Governance Officer (Mark Lambert) his concern over the ongoing absence of Yewdale Ward Councillor Tom Dodd following his move to the United States of America.
Councillor Dodd has not attended any Council meetings since the move and when Councillor Bainbridge asked at the last Council meeting about whether this would result in Carlisle City Council having an absentee Councillor, the terse response from the Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor Tickner) that it was “an internal Labour Group matter” has failed to provide any clarity to the issue, forcing Councillor Bainbridge to make his concerns public.
Speaking on this issue, Councillor Bainbridge said: “Whilst I naturally congratulate Councillor Dodd on his October wedding, the move to America must mean that Councillor Dodd can not reasonably expect to carry on being a Councillor for Yewdale ward in Carlisle.
“I’m surprised that anyone at Carlisle City Council would think this isn’t a mockery of democracy, and am flabbergasted at the cavalier attitude of the Deputy Leader of the Council on this matter.
“After last month’s farrago of Councillor Osgood stepping down following a conviction for benefit fraud, we now have a Councillor who is thinks he will represent a ward whilst living thousands of miles away. It’s disrespectful not to give residents and Councillors honest answers. Trust in Carlisle City Council is rapidly on the decline in my view, we need this like a hole in the head.
“The residents of Yewdale deserve better than this, surely Councillor Dodd should resign from the Council and allow voters to elect a new Councillor.”