A TEIGNMOUTH councillor has been dismissed from the town council for failing to attend meetings.

Dave Matthews, who served as a ward member for west ward and had been a town councillor for 12 years, had not attended a town council meeting since August 2022.

Former Mayor Mr Matthews, who is a director of Teignmouth Airshow and a Teignmouth RNLI volunteer, has published an open letter explaining how he came to be absent from the required number of meetings to legally retain his council seat.

He wrote: ‘I am writing to regretfully inform you that I am no longer a serving member of Teignmouth Town Council after 12 years of service for the constituents of West Teignmouth and the wider town.

‘Unfortunately due to a change in my personal circumstances, I have been working away from home for the majority of the last six months which has had an impact on the number of council meetings I have been able to attend.

‘Despite this, I have been able to work on behalf of my constituents outside of these formal meetings and have, as I have always strived to do, worked for the benefit of our town.’

But, in accordance with the Local Government Act, as Mr Matthews has not been in attendance for at least one meeting within a six month consecutive period since August 9, as of February 9, he was no longer a member of the town council.

He said he was aware his ‘physical absence’ from meetings was nearing the six month period although he was not aware of the specific date.

Returning home on February 11, after working away, he received a letter informing him of his ‘dismissal’ from the council.

His statement continued: ‘I can only wholeheartedly apologise to my constituents and for those who have trusted me with their vote for not being able to continue with my position.

‘I made a mistake with the dates and despite making plans to be home for the upcoming meeting, I was regrettably five days too late.

‘I have later learned that I could have requested permission for my absence in advance to avoid being disqualified as a councillor however I was unaware that this was a possibility prior to my disqualification.’

He said his time as a councillor had been a ‘great privilege’ and that working to make the town a better place had been ‘one of my greatest achievements’.

He said: ‘I can only express my sincere regret that it has come to an end this way.’

Although no longer a town councillor, he said he would continue to do his part as a ‘local citizen’ to continue working to make Teignmouth ‘as great as it can be’.

He said he looked forward to working with the volunteer team to bring Teignmouth Airshow for 2023 and continued to be a ‘proud’ volunteer for Teignmouth RNLI.

He concluded: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the last 12 years.’