LAST week’s full town council meeting was attended by ten of a possible 16 councillors – the second lowest turnout since the May election.

Apologies were received from councillors Scott Blackmore, Lauren Banville, Christopher Ecclestone, Graeme Davis, Peter Scott and Dorothy Day.

It was Cllr Blackmore’s first missed meeting since being elected to the authority. Cllrs Peter Scott and Dorothy Day, meanwhile, were absent for their sixth successive full council meetings.

Councillor attendance was the subject of one of the meeting’s motions.

Those present voted in favour of a proposal, put forward by Cllr Andy Fitchet and seconded by Cllr Richard Rowles, for a running total of attendance to be reported at the start of full council meetings.

The total will include both full council and the authority’s various committee meetings and will cover the period since the start of the municipal year.

Cllr Fitchet noted that attendance is monitored by the clerks anyway, and so sharing that information at meetings would enable the public to see who is “turning up to do what they were elected to do”.

Cllr David Coole suggested a slight amendment to the motion.

He said: “I don’t have a problem [with it] but I think we should adopt the Test Valley Borough Council process where it is actually included on the website next to the individual profile.

“If anybody wants to know who is attending meetings, and how many collectively, they can click on their profile and it will encourage them to use the website more.”

However it was noted that this would add to the town clerk’s already-stretched resources.

Cllr David Treadwell asked how long it would take to add attendance records to individual profiles, with town clerk Wendy Coulter estimating as much as 45 minutes. Sharing those figures in the agendas of full council meetings, on the hand, would take just a few minutes.

Cllr Fitchet also noted that the website currently does not even have the facility to add individual records to councillor profiles.

He said: “The facility to do that on the website isn’t there. So we don’t have a section on the individual profile of each individual councillor where we can just go in and do that like they do on the borough council.

He added that a proposal to add attendance records to the website would need to be costed first, whereas his initial motion would incur ‘no additional’ costs.

Cllr Fitchet continued: “Therefore I would encourage councillors to vote against the amendment as it would take time and money, whereas my original motion would not and doesn’t take any time or any money additional to what is going on except, as the town clerk has suggested, a couple minutes of copy and pasting into a new agenda.”

Cllr Coole’s amended motion was eventually voted down by seven votes to three, with Cllrs Joanne Coole, David Coole and Cllr Rebecca Meyer.

The original proposal was passed with eight votes in favour. Cllrs Joanne and David Coole abstained from the vote.