A WINSFORD town councillor has been kicked off the council after failing to attend a meeting for six months in a row.  

Dan Ford, who represented Verdin ward alongside Cllr Stella Mellor and town mayor, Cllr Wayne Fletcher, was first elected in May 2023.

Mr Ford was among the raft of independent councillors making up the Winsford Salt of the Earth group (WSOTE), who together took all but one seat on the town council just over a year ago. 

However, Mr Ford turned his back on WSOTE in November 2023 amid claims the group had started to splinter just 48 hours after its resounding election success.

According to council records, Mr Ford attended just one council meeting after leaving WSOTE. This was on Monday, December 18. 

Council rules say if a member doesn't attend a ‘qualifying’ meeting for six consecutive months, he or she forfeit their seat on the council, a process formally known as disqualification. 

Mr Ford therefore ceased to be a town councillor on Wednesday, June 19, and disqualification was confirmed at a meeting of the full council on Monday, June 24.

Winsford mayor, Wayne Fletcher, said: "Being a town councillor is a very important role and we were voted in by the residents to perform duties for them.

“If a councillor doesn't attend a meeting in a six-month period, then unfortunately he or she is not performing those duties."

Mr Ford’s departure leaves an empty seat on Winsford Town Council. This could trigger a by-election if just two electors from the Verdin ward request one. 

If this happens, it would be the third since the last full town council election in May 2023, all the result of one-time WSOTE members either quitting or being disqualified.

According to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) Electoral Service team, the first of these by-elections, to replace Christina Duffy in October 2023, cost Winsford taxpayers £6,878.

CWAC can’t give an accurate figure for the cost of the most recent by-election to replace Lorraine Murphy on May 2, as this took place alongside the already scheduled police and crime commissioner election.

Mr Ford has been approached for comment.