Corby Council leader wished a speedy recovery as he’s granted period of leave

Cllr Tom Beattie
Cllr Tom Beattie

Members wished their council leader a speedy recovery before agreeing to grant him a period of leave.

Councillors from across the chamber agreed to a three-month leave of absence for Cllr Tom Beattie, who has been leader of Corby Council since 2011.

The request was approved at a meeting of the full council last Thursday.

The agenda item stated: “Under the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), full council are requested to consider a “leave of absence” request from an elected member for a period of three months only.

“The request is being made by Cllr Tom Beattie (Lodge Park ward).

“The monitoring officer will provide details at the meeting of the procedure associated with this request.”

Speaking at the meeting, the monitoring officer said: “Cllr Tom Beattie, one of the ward members for Lodge Park and obviously leader of the council, has made a request for a leave of absence.

“Cllr Tom Beattie has not attended a formal meeting of the council since October, although he has been involved in other meetings outside of the formal meetings.

“However, due to health reasons, he is unlikely to be attending any formal meetings in the near future.”

The officer went on to explain that under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, an elected member has to attend a formal meeting of the council every six months.

If they fail to do that, they are deemed to have vacated their office.

The officer said Cllr Beattie is hoping to be ‘back to business’ or at least have a phased return to work over the coming months.

It is hoped this will be by April or May, although the end of the six months falls in April so this request is to extend the six-month rule and take it through to July instead.

The officer described Cllr Beattie’s request for an extension as him being prudent.

Before councillors agreed to the request, leader of the Conservative group Cllr Rob McKellar said: “Personally and on behalf of the opposition group can I send our best wishes to Cllr Beattie and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Labour councillor John McGhee said: “I am sure that I speak for every councillor and across the political divides, but I wish Tom a very speedy recovery.

“He’s an integral part of this council and he’s proved that in his time here.”

During his absence, Cllr Beattie remains the council leader but his deputy Cllr Jean Addison along with colleagues will continue to cover the role.