No show councillor says: I quit

A FORMER council leader who has not attended any local authority meetings for six months has quit.

Kingswood councillor Willie Smith, 49, has handed in a letter of resignation to Corby Council.

The independent councillor – who works as a business development manager for New Era Security in the town – had not been to a formal council meeting for six months so faced being disqualified.

Under the Local Government Act 1972, any councillor who does not turn up to at least one meeting during a half-year period automatically loses their seat.

A statement from Corby Council said: "Councillor Willie Smith, who represented the Kingswood ward, has tendered his resignation as a councillor with immediate effect, due to personal reasons.

"As there are less than six months to full local elections there will be no by-election called.

"Kingswood ward matters should be addressed to the two other ward councillors, Maureen Forshaw and Brian Massie."

Mr Smith, a former Labour councillor, had a heart attack at the beginning of the year which forced him to take a back seat from council business.

During that time he has moved out of his house in Ribblesdale Avenue in the town and has been staying with relatives in Edinburgh and Corby.

He is also due to appear at Corby Magistrates Court on Thursday, December 7, after pleading not guilty to charges of possessing and making indecent images of children.

When Mr Smith was council leader he was suspended by the Labour Party after being found guilty of not paying car tax.

Since he fell ill Mr Smith has received about 3,280 in allowances from Corby Council. During that time he went to one meeting in May.

Mr Smith said: "I'm sad that I have had to hand my resignation in.

"Unfortunately I have to fight my court case and I want to be able to concentrate on that.

"I would like to thank the vast majority of people who believe in me."

John Carr, of Blenheim Walk, on the Kingswood estate in Corby said: "I think he has done the honourable thing but he should have done it a while ago."

Bob Curtis, of Brinkhill Walk on the Kingswood, said: "I'm pleased he has resigned. I hope we get someone better now that he's gone."

Chief executive of Corby Council Chris Mallender paid tribute to Cllr Smith.

Mr Mallender said: "I'm very sad to lose Willie as a councillor. Until recently he has done great things for Corby and the town's revival owes a great deal to Wil