Councillors in Surrey have missed more than 120 meetings over a six month period a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

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SURREY Heath borough councillors missed more than 120 meetings in just six and a half months, new figures have revealed.

The data, obtained by the News & Mail under the Freedom of Information Act, show the 40 ward councillors failed to attend 121 meetings between last May 15 and November 30.

Of those 121 absences, 42 empty seats were filled by substitutes. One councillor, Edward Hawkins for Parkside, missed 10 of his 26 required meetings and Cllr Margaret Moher for the Old Dean, nine out of her 17. In total, eight councillors missed five or more meetings but ever present were councillors Rodney Bates, Josephine Hawkins, John May and Valerie White as well as council leader Moira Gibson.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.