An Isle of Wight councillor has been granted a leave of absence until March next year, due to ill health.
Due to ill health, Cllr Murwill (pictured) has been unable to attend council meetings since 13th March.
Council policy is that any member who fails to attend a meeting for six months, without prior permission, will cease to be a member.
At a full council meeting on Wednesday (24th July), councillors voted to grant Cllr Murwill an extra six months’ leave from 12th September.
Brodie: “We’re not doing a job, we’re elected to represent”
Some opposition councillors questioned whether it was fair on his ward residents to go without representation for that length of time.
Cllr Geoff Brodie said:
“We are not doing a job, we are elected to represent people. When you have a significant illness, are you really up to it?
“I don’t want to know what the illness is, I have no interest in that whatsoever. He has my absolute sympathy if he is seriously ill.
“I just think this is not about a job, this is about representation of the people.”
He said there was a reason why there was a six month limit for extended leave, and asked for the decision to come back to council in September for consideration.
Tyndall: No complaints from residents
Cllr Tyndall said his ward was still being properly represented and there had been no complaints about Cllr Murwill’s absence.
Cllr Dave Stewart, leader of the council, said he had been in contact with Cllr Murwill, and had been specifically asked not to share details of his illness.
He said Cllr Murwill was still able to work in some capacity but had to manage his illness.
Further extension not expected
Cllr Stewart said he did not expect to ask the council to grant another extension.
A vote to grant Cllr Murwill the extended leave was approved by 34 votes to two.
Cllrs Geoff Brodie and Reg Barry voted against it.