Inside the council chamber various members have come under pressure for not turning up to council meetings. It is reported that poor attendance at council meetings has lead to an investigation by the Remuneration Panel in at least one area, where some councillors are raking in more than £1,600 for every council meeting they attend.
The worst offender was Jamie Jarvis, BNP member for a village ward in Dagenham. He attended only seven of the 27 meetings he was required to attend. For this he received an annual allownace of around £9,000, a payout of £1,401 per meeting. Another BNP councillor Dave Watkins, dubbed ‘the worst councillor in Sandwell,’ attended just 10 out of 63 meetings. He gave up after just one year, declaring it was all too much for him to understand.
Steve Batkin of Stoke-on-Trent has to take the biscuit having attended none of a possible thirty committee meetings over a nine month period. He spoke only twice in his first two years as a councillor and one of those was to ask what “abstain” meant.
Leader of the BNP on Barking and Dagenham Council, Robert Bailey, demonstrated the more sinister side of the BNP when he made threats to Barking College principal just hours before the college held a Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) event at its Dagenham campus. According to the principle, Mr Parker, the Alibon ward councillor ordered him to stop hosting such events, or there would be “problems” from BNP members at the college.
More reassuring is the fact that only 55 out of the BNP’s 22,000 candidates have been successful in council elections; not a great return and a waste of their limited funds.