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The Packet | Posted 13th June 2019

A Falmouth councillor who has apparently moved to Launceston was criticised for his “very poor” attendance record at town council meetings

Councillor for Penwerris ward Mathew McCarthy has attended 12 of his 22 meetings for the 2018/19 municipal year.

His address on the town council website has also now been changed to Wooda Lane in Launceston.

Councillor David Saunby said at a Falmouth Town Council meeting last night (Monday June 10): “I’m very concerned about councillor McCarthy’s attendance. We hardly see him.

“It’s my personal feeling that he’s not interested in this council. I’m a bit frustrated about this, he only seems to turn up at certain times.”

Town clerk Mark Williams informed the council that the minimum attendance requirement for town councillors is once every six months, which councillor McCarthy has not breached.

Councillor Saunby said: “I think once every six months is not good enough. I think it’s very very poor and there’s no excuse for it.”

Speaking to the Packet after the meeting, which he did not attend, councillor McCarthy, who also represents Penwerris on Cornwall Council, said: “My response is pretty simple – my Cornwall Council attendance record is 100 per cent.”

Town mayor Steve Eva echoed some councillors’ concerns at the meeting.

He said: “I don’t know where he’s living. As far as I’m concerned we are 16 around a table. If one of those people aren’t round the table they should vacate. He might have a genuine reason for not being here, I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon.”

He went on to say: “I think if he doesn’t want to be here he should be man enough to say ‘look, I have got other things on’.”

For three of his ten absences in 2018/19, councillor McCarthy gave apologies – one saying he could not attend for work reasons, one because he was ill and another because of a family commitment.

He gave no apology for the other seven.

It is not the first time that the Penwerris councillor has come under fire for his attendance record at town meetings.

In July 2017, the Packet reported that councillor McCarthy was criticised for attending only one meeting in three months.

He defended himself at the time, saying: “I’m working with people and getting things done.”