Tory leader: 'Councillors know lesss than my cat'
A LEADING city politician has branded council meetings a waste of time after it was revealed he had only attended 13 per cent of committee meetings since last April.
Rene Kinzett, who leads the Conservative group on Swansea Council also hit out at fellow councillors, who he said "know less than my cat" about what the council is doing.
Of the 72 councillors elected the last time Swansea voters went to the polls, 27 had an attendance record which fell below 50 per cent.
Townhill residents may feel they are being under represented at meetings by their three councillors, with Billy Jones turning up for 23 out of 69 (33 per cent), David Hopkins seven out of 46 (15 per cent) and Nick Bradley just eight out of 55 meetings (15 per cent).
Councillor Bradley was unavailable for comment.
Councillor Jones defended his record. He said: "I have been ill since Christmas and it is pretty restrictive. We will all try to improve our record, but what people don't realise is the amount of work we all do in the ward. My priority is being in the ward as much as I can."
The biggest offender, however, was Conservative group leader Rene Kinzett, who only showed up to 13 per cent of committee meetings.
However, despite only going to 12 out of 91 meetings, Councillor Kinzett was defiant, saying a number of them were pointless.
He said: "The member support and development working group is a total waste of time. It does not make any decisions whatsoever. What is the point in attending meetings that have no decision-making powers?
"The constitution working group is another talking shop. Nothing of any use ever comes out of this meeting. A lot of councillors sit around creating a lot of hot air."
He added: "I have good attendance at council, which is the only place I can properly hold this Lib Dem-run council to account."
Councillor Kinzett said that not only were some of the meetings a waste of time, but criticised some of the elected members taking part.
He said: "Much of the time spent in meetings in County Hall is an utter waste of time — pointless pontificating by councillors who know less than my cat about much of what they are considering. If people really knew how decisions were made at County Hall, they would be horrified.
"Meetings are also held during the working day — most start at either 10am or 11am or in the afternoon, at 2pm. This is no good if you work or have other responsibilities such as daytime childcare. It ends up being only the retired, the unemployed or the unemployable who stand to become councillors."
Council leader Chris Holley said the outburst from Councillor Kinzett was an attempt to defend the indefensible.
"The diatribe is what you would expect from Rene," he said.
"He's just trying to defend himself for not living in the city and not attending meetings. It is very sad that he has had to revert to this kind of name calling — it does nobody any good.
"What he doesn't seem to realise is that there are a lot of good people working hard on the council, even if he doesn't."
Councillor Kinzett said his job in London meant he had to attend meetings in the capital "as and when I need to."