Councillor Sean Coughlan (Willenhall South) has not been able to attend meetings since February 2019 due to mental health problems he has been suffering.
Sean’s illness led to him choosing to step down as Walsall Labour Group Leader in April 2019 just prior to the local elections on 2nd May 2019. Councillor Aftab Nawaz was then elected to take over as Walsall Labour Group Leader following the local elections.
The Local Government Act 1972 states that a councillor will cease to be an elected member if he or she fails to attend any council meeting for six months. Under the terms set out in the Local Government Act 1972 Councillor Sean Coughlan would have ceased to be an elected member of Walsall Council in August 2019.
At the meeting of full council on Monday 15th July 2019, councillors accepted officer recommendations and agreed to extend Councillor Sean Coughlan’s absence until the end of his term of office in May 2020.
Councillor Nawaz said: “Mental health is a major issue and we have a a lot of of sympathy for Sean.
“He’s given a huge amount of service, not only to the Labour party but particularly to the council – he’s been here for more than 20 years.”
“Obviously, he is not well. People don’t realise how pressurised how public life can be so giving him this time is the right thing to do.”
Walsall Labour Group would like to wish Sean well and hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery.