A LIVERPOOL councillor was paid £10,000 last year – after attending just three council meetings.
Independent Sharon Green, who represents the St Michaels ward, had the worst attendance record of the city’s 90 councillors with just 30%.
Analysis by the Post shows that most councillors have an attendance above 80%, with 11 scoring a 100% record.
Cllr Green is due for re-election next year and is now under pressure to resign.
But defending her position, Cllr Green said: “I apologise for a complete misunderstanding, when I was elected to represent the people of St Michaels in 2010, I thought my first priority was to those people, not to sitting in meetings in Liverpool City Council, for which I can do little to change the decisions that have probably been agreed prior to that said statutory meeting taking place.
“My driver for wanting to be a City Councillor was not the allowances, but my passion to help people who are in need. I do not want publicity, I just want to get on with helping people and making a difference.”
She claimed that since her election she has worked hard to represent local residents, including dealings with the Foreign Office on behalf of a resident with family abroad.
Cllr Green said she had taken a new job last year which had limited her ability to take time off and had been “seriously ill” last summer, and was continuing to receive treatment for the condition.
A council spokesman said: “By law, councillors are required to attend at least one committee meeting within a rolling six month period.
“Consent is required from the full council if they cannot fulfil this commitment.
“We can confirm that Councillor Green has complied with the legislation.”
The spokesman confirmed she had not asked for a leave of absence because she had complied with the six month rule.
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Richard Kemp said: “It is deplorable, if she had still been a Liberal Democrat she would not have been by now.
“She should have resigned when she left the party she got elected with. She should certainly leave now, based on her attendance record.”
Cllr Green does not list surgery details on the council’s website, instead constituents are directed to a council phone number.
This week a Post reporter, posing as a constituent, left a message with the council for Cllr Green. She responded quickly within a couple of hours.
Green councillor John Coyne, who also represents St Michaels, said he did not want to get involved in the row but added: “She does not get in the way of decisions that need to be made.”
Cllr Green was elected in 2010 as a Liberal Democrat in the St Michaels ward, which is seen as a Green Party leaning area of the city.
It was a particularly hard fought election with her narrowly beating the Greens. Then Lib Dem leader Warren Bradley was a regular supporter on her campaign trail.
Within days of her election she was thrust into the limelight after a photo mocking disabled people was posted on her Facebook page.
The picture of a group of physically disabled adults appeared on her site, with text underneath comparing them with the council’s Labour group.
Cllr Green apologised for the image, but Mr Bradley, at that point still party leader, insisted she “could not be held responsible”.
In April 2011 Mr Bradley was suspended from the Liberal Democrats after revelations that he had essentially put forward his son to be an election candidate without his permission.
Days later Cllr Green quit the Lib Dems to become an independent.
In March last year Mr Bradley admitted perjury after the electoral fraud investigation.
He pleaded guilty to making a false statement on an election form and was fined £1,000 at Liverpool magistrates court.
He was accompanied to court by Cllr Green, who was by then his partner.
Statement by councillor Sharon Green
I APOLOGISE for a complete misunderstanding, when I was elected to represent the people of St Michaels in 2010, I thought my first priority was to those people, not to sitting in meetings in Liverpool City Council, for which I can do little to change the decisions that have probably been agreed prior to that said statutory meeting taking place.
For information, I have over the last 2+ years since being elected, worked to resolve issues on behalf of many residents and different residential communities in the ward, whether something as simple as street scene issues or as important as working with the new Academy or as complex as dealing with the Foreign Office owing to an issue a residents has with family members abroad. Prior to the ever changing Governance arrangements of the City Council, and the move to remove powers from the Neighbourhood level, I was a regular attendee at meetings with my ward colleague Councillors. We discussed many issues and worked together to spend the limited ward funds allocated to St Michaels.
I have regular contact with the Police and am fully aware of any pressing issues within the St Michaels ward, I go around the ward on a weekly basis, dealing with cleansing, lighting and other environmental issues.
Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that your career has to be your main motivation, I have recently started a new role, and time off is a premium.
I do not believe this has diminished my passion for helping people in St Michaels; but does sadly mean my availability to attend some meetings has been affected owing to shifts changes etc.
Further in the summer last year I was seriously ill and unavailable to undertake either my role with my employer or the City Council, something that was personal to me and not for public interest.
I am continuing to receive treatment for the condition.
In conclusion, my driver for wanting to be a City Councillor was not the allowances, but my passion to help people who are in need.
I do not want publicity, I just want to get on with helping people and making a difference.
I will be making no further comments regarding this.
The following councillors have not missed a meeting: