County council's adult social care cabinet member axed from South Northants Council seat for poor attendance

A Liberal Democrat has been elected to a South Northamptonshire Council seat after a by-election was triggered by the poor attendance of the previous Conservative councillor.

Sunday, 1st July 2018, 8:40 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:57 pm
Councillor Lizzy Bowen (right) was axed from the county council prompting a by-election, which was won by Lib Dem Councillor Abigail Medina (left).

Lizzie Bowen, the cabinet member for adult social care on Northamptonshire County Council, was 'disqualified' from her Whittlebury seat on SNC last month.

The subsequent by-election was won by Abigail Medina by a 130 vote margin.

Councillor Chris Lofts, Lib Dem leader at SNC, said: "This election shows that residents value a committed local person to represent them.

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"Communities across South Northamptonshire face uncertainty as we head towards a new imposed local government structure.

"Abigail will make sure her communities are now fully represented. On the doorstep, people made clear that they are also recognising what a mess the Conservatives have made of running local government in Northamptonshire.”

Newly-elected Councillor Medina received 366 votes beating Conservative candidate Martin Barter's 236 votes and Labour's Adrian Scandrett's 44.

"I’d like to thank all those who voted for me," said Councillor Medina.

"However, I can assure everyone irrespective of who you voted for, or if you didn’t vote this time, that I will work hard to represent you and will be reporting back regularly."

SNC's website shows that between January 5, 2018, and June 30, 2018, Councillor Bowen did not attend the two full council meetings she was expected to be present for.

Between July 13, 2017, and January 5, 2018, she was absent for six of 10 meetings, and between January 18, 2017, and July 13, 2017, she was present at four of 11 meetings.

The last meeting Councillor Bowen attended, as per the authority's website, was a full council meeting on October 18, 2017. She sent apologies for a full council meeting on February 28 this year.

"We can confirm Lizzie Bowen is no longer the SNC ward member for Whittlewood," a spokesman for South Northamptonshire Council said.

"Under the 1972 Local Government Act she was automatically disqualified from being a member as she did not attend a formal council or committee meeting during a six month period."