Shaftesbury’s Mayor Supports Councillor Following Poor Meeting Attendance Claim

Shaftesbury mayor, Cllr Andy Hollingshead, has spoken in support of the town councillor with the lowest meeting attendance record.

Last September, councillors agreed to a three-month absence by Cllr Matthew Welch, the town’s youngest councillor, following a personal bereavement. At the recent full council meeting, Cllr Karen Tippins claimed that she’d been contacted by constituents who were unhappy that Matt has attended around one-third of meetings. The mayor said he was unaware of any complaints.

Cllr Matthew Welch

Cllr Tippins has questioned Cllr Welch’s ability to represent locals whilst he is studying for his degree in Bristol. She feels he’s occupying committee positions that she and Cllr Yeo should have. But Cllr Hollingshead said Cllr Welch ‘notified’ the council about his studies and he ‘should be commended’ for furthering his education.

Cllr Welch chaired last night’s Planning meeting on Zoom. He told Alfred that in itself shows he is still representing the people of Shaftsbury.