Civic centre belatedly releases data showing which councillors ‘worked hardest’

New data from before last May’s local election show Conservative councillors submitted more enquiries on average than their Labour counterparts

Enfield Civic Centre
Enfield Civic Centre

Enfield Council has released a data table showing how many enquiries were made by councillors in the year prior to the 2022 local election – after being forced to do so by a government regulator.

The table shows exactly how many members’ enquiries (MEQs) each councillor submitted over a twelve-month period, something former deputy leader Daniel Anderson had requested the council to publish as he believed it was the best way to show voters how hard they worked.

However, Daniel’s request under the Freedom of Information Act was initially refused by the council and has only just now been released after the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reprimanded the civic centre for withholding the data.

The new disclosure shows that Conservative councillors submitted a higher number of MEQs on average between February 2021 and February 2022. In total, Conservatives in Enfield submitted 2,965 MEQs over that year, averaging 164.7 per councillor. Labour councillors, meanwhile, submitted a total of 2,995 MEQs, averaging 74.9 per councillor.

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Daniel, who served as deputy leader of the council between 2018 and 2019 before falling out with the Labour leadership and quitting to join a new breakaway group of independents, said: “It really shouldn’t have necessitated me taking this to the ICO – this data should be routinely released annually. Indeed, if it would be, maybe some councillors might well up their game.

“The data shows that there are clearly workers and shirkers – on all sides.

“The key takeaway is that the top ten councillors, of which I am [was] one, submitted 53% of all the MEQs submitted. By contrast, the bottom eleven submitted fewer than 2% of all the MEQs between them.

“However, equally shocking is that many with special responsibility allowances submitted so few, 17 of whom, including four cabinet members, couldn’t even muster 50 MEQs each – one a week – over a year.”

The MEQs data table is available to view in full here. Coming out on top is Maria Alexandrou, the Conservative councillor for Winchmore Hill, while at the bottom is Guner Aydin, a former Labour councillor for Enfield Lock who submitted a total of zero MEQs through the year – and did not stand for re-election.

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