Shropshire councillor reinstated after missing meetings to nurse terminally ill daughter
A Shropshire councillor removed from her post after missing council meetings to nurse her terminally ill daughter was today reinstated.
Former Shrewsbury mayor Jane Mackenzie has represented the Bayston Hill and Column ward on Shropshire Council for a number of years.
But on Monday, Shropshire Council posted notice that there was to be a by-election in her ward after she missed six months' worth of meetings and broke regulations.
Councillor Mackenzie's daughter, Amy, died in May at the age of 37.
This afternoon she received a letter from the council confirming her term of office had not come to an end
Earlier, Councillor Mackenzie had said: “If you look on the Shropshire Council website, you will see there is already a vacancy for my job, and all evidence of myself as a councillor has already been removed. It’s as if I’ve been wiped out.
“Apart from thinking this is a callous way to treat anyone, I also believe they have got this wrong as I have not been able to check my attendance.
“So now, as well as grieving for Amy’s death, I have to fight this act of corporate cruelty.”
The leader of the Labour Party on the council had asked for his fellow council members to not put up a candidate for the ensuing by-election. Councillor Alan Mosley asked for his fellow councillor to show compassion to Ms Mackenzie.
Before news of the reinstatement he said: “The news that Jane is to be stripped of her position on Shropshire Council is deplorable and I am calling on council officers to seek ways of circumventing the national rules, especially as she apologised for being absent from the meeting and was able to attend a meeting as a representative of the council.
“Jane’s absence was during a time when she was caring for her very ill daughter and then coping with her tragic death. Everyone can surely appreciate why she omitted to formally request further leave of absence from her duties.
“It may be that the officers are unable to reverse the decision and so I have asked other group leaders to consider not putting up candidates on this occasion so that an actual election is not necessary and Jane can continue in position.”
Councillor Julian Dean, leader of the Green Party, had said he was confident members of his party would agree not to contest the seat.
The by-election was due to take place on August 15.