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Sam Blewett, Reporter
Friday, January 10, 2014
Today the council has agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the reinstatement of the councillor who was “sacked” for his six-month absence from meetings despite being too unwell to attend.
Mark Logan, who was until December 28 a member of the Independent Residents’ Group (IRG), said: “There’s been so much controversy over what [the council] have done that they’ve had to relent and have this meeting.
“Hopefully common sense will prevail. What they did was appalling.”
Mr Logan, who represented Rainham and Wennington, has diabetes which led to kidney failure.
Mr Logan undergoes dialysis three times a week leaving him too sick to attend town hall meetings but continues to watch online. There is a direct clash between his treatment and most meetings.
Under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, failure to attend any meeting of the council for six months means automatic dismissal as a councillor unless special dispensation is sought.
The extraordinary meeting of the council will be held at 7pm immediately prior to the full council meeting in Havering Town Hall, in Main Road, Romford.
Calls for his reinstatement received some cross-party support but many believed that the rules should be upheld.
Cllr Jeff Tucker, leader of the IRG, said that Mr Logan is “invaluable” in carrying out research for the group and communicates with constituents regularly.
A council spokesman said that no dispensation had been sought by Cllr Tucker and that the rules are clear and should be followed.
But the IRG believed that, as it was too close to upcoming elections for a by-election to be held, Mr Logan’s position was safe.