Ex-Lord Mayor shows 'disregard' for people
Furious residents have called for former Lord Mayor of Leicester Robert Wann to resign after it emerged he had attended just one council meeting in nearly six months.
On Monday, Councillor Wann avoided being kicked off Leicester City Council by turning up to his first meeting since May 17. It came after the city's Labour Group arranged for him to sit in as a substitute for an ill colleague at a meeting he would not normally be expected to attend.
Under council rules, any elected member who does not attend a meeting for six months – which would have been by November 17 for Coun Wann – is disqualified.
Some residents in the area he represents, Leicester's Thurncourt ward, said Coun Wann should step down.
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Former Labour councillor and community volunteer Allan Gratrix said: "Robert Wann has acted disgracefully.
"It would have been better if he had not attended that meeting and then we could elect another councillor – one who will actually represent us.
"The man has shown a complete disregard for the people who live in Thurnby Lodge. He does nothing."
Mr Gratrix said some residents had been angered by comments made by Coun Wann in the Mercury following Monday's meeting. He said he thought people in his ward would be happy with him claiming his councillor's allowance of nearly £10,000, and £1,200 for travel and subsistence, despite not making the meetings.
"Does he really think people here will be happy with him?" Mr Gratrix said. "You must be joking. He should resign. We want an election."
Mr Gratrix said he had approached senior Labour figures to ask if Coun Wann could be removed from his post.
Coun Wann insisted he had been working hard for residents in his ward.
"I have been on the estate," he said. "I have been working extremely hard on Thurncourt."
Coun Wann said he had been representing the council at external meetings in the past six months, but these did not count towards his attendance rate.
When asked if he would resign, he would not give a clear answer.
"You are going to get this and it will rumble on," he said.
Coun Wann said he did not know yet whether he would stand for re-election for the ward in 2015.
Coun Wann's fellow Thurncourt Labour councillor Luis Fonseca said he did not want to comment on the resignation calls.
However, he said: "It is my opinion he should have been seen on the estate more. People are very upset."