A SEAT has come up on Prudhoe Town Council after a now former councillor failed to attend meetings.

Robert (Rob) Blackburn, formerly of the West Wylam ward, has been removed from post for failing throughout a period of six consecutive months, to attend any meeting of the authority. He last attended in May 2022, saying he couldn't put his full effort into the role.

The town council is now advertising a vacancy for the position; an election will be held to fill the spot if, by January 24, a request is made by 10 electors to the ward. Otherwise, the position will be filled by co-option.

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"At the beginning of December, I put my resignation in", said Coun. Blackburn. 

"I couldn't put the time in due to work and family commitments; I couldn't put my full efforts into council work.

"It's no excuse but I thought I'd resign before I got removed and let someone else do it who has got the time."

The caretaker at Adderlane Academy first became a town councillor in 2020 after he was co-opted to represent the Prudhoe West and Halfway ward. Members had been split in two but then mayor Tracy Gilmore used her casting vote to elect Coun. Blackburn over now Castle & Eltringham ward member Coun. Jonathan Wheeler. 

In the May 2021 local elections, Coun. Blackburn, who also worked at the former Eastwood Middle School, was elected to serve West Wylam alongside fellow independent councillor Jane Johnson and Labour's Angie Scott, who also represents Prudhoe North on Northumberland County Council, alongside Prudhoe South's Coun. Gordon Stewart.

He added: "At the election, I got the highest votes. I enjoyed working in the West Wylam area, it's brilliant. I'm born and bred West Wylam. 

"I'd like to thank the people of West Wylam for voting me on and apologise I couldn't keep the work up and put my full effort in."

Coun. Blackburn, who also formerly coached local adult and youth football, had been due to be in office until 2025.