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Dover Town Council to ban member from attending under the influence of drugs and alcohol

The mayor of Dover has spoken out over a motion to ban councillors from attending meetings under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Cllr Chris Precious said the motion, which will be discussed at the next town council meeting, is part of a series of changes to standing orders and committee delegations that the council regularly undertakes.

He said: “All we have done is bring Dover Town Council up in line with the law.

Mayor of Dover Chris Precious
Mayor of Dover Chris Precious

“It’s something we do all the time, every other year, we review standing orders and bring them up to date on anything that’s not clear.”

Cllr Precious said the motion did not come as a result of any incident and is part of a much larger report.

This report also includes a motion for council members to use gender inclusive language where possible, so that addresses are not gender specific. For example a female chairman being referred to as the chairman, not Mrs Chairman.

The next order is to clarify that a member requiring a recorded vote must make the request prior to the vote being taken.

The final one is that councillors should not attend meetings or act as representative of the council if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol as their ability to contribute and judgement will be impaired.

A working group was set up and the finance and general purposes committee made a decision last month to approve the changes at the town council meeting, which will be held in April.

Cllr Precious said he understood there were rumours surrounding the motion banning councillors from drinking or using drugs when representing the council - but he said this has been taken out of context.

The report also goes on to state that councillors should be non-political and voting should be according to individual conscience and views, rather than that of political groups.

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