Wyre councillor will need permission to skip meetings as he recovers from heart operation – or faces loses his seat

Coun Balmain, former Wyre mayor, in 2015
Coun Balmain, former Wyre mayor, in 2015
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Garstang councillor Tom Balmain, who is still recovering from a heart operation, could be granted an extension to a dispensation that allows him to skip Wyre Council meetings without breaching regulations on Thursday.

Council leader David Henderson and chief executive Garry Payne said in a joint report that Coun Balmain has still been able to respond to constituents and deal with council business by email or over the phone throughout his illness.

“He has also, when necessary, been able to discuss local issues or refer actions to the other Garstang members – Coun Lady [Dulcie] Atkins and Coun [Alice] Collinson – and, if granted a further discompensation, will continue to do so,” the report said.

Former mayor Coun Balmain’s current dispensation, which was granted in May, expires at the end of the month.

“He had hoped that he would by now have been able to attend council meetings again on a regular basis, but his ongoing health problems are still preventing him from doing so,” the report, set to go before a full council meeting, added.

“If he is set to continue to be a councillor, he will need to be granted a further dispensation at this meeting to avoid breaching the provisions of Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.”

That says “if a member of a local authority fails throughout a period of six consecutive months from the date of his last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority, he shall, unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority before the expiry of that period, cease to be a member of the authority”.