Unwell mayor has been signed off from work
THE highest ranking councillor of Swindon, mayor Nick Martin, has been signed off work with an unknown illness.
Coun Martin, who represents Shaw, was unable to comment when the Adver approached him yesterday but it is understood he has been signed off from his duties as the mayor since Tuesday or Wednesday.
On Monday the Adver reported claims that, during a meeting discussing safeguarding adults, Coun Martin made disparaging comments about disabled adults having sex.
He denied making the comments and the matter is now being investigated by the authority’s standard’s board.
Two councillors allegedly heard him saying: “They aren’t still letting those mongols have sex with each other are they?”
“It’s not the first time a mayor has been signed off sick,” said Coun Renard.
“There are tried and tested systems in place to deal with this situation. I’m very keen for him to recover as soon as possible and I send him my best wishes.”
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said the mayor’s year can be very gruelling in its demands as there maybe 400 appointments to carry out .
“A lot of mayors soldier on in the face of some significant health difficulties,” he said.
“I would wish Nick well in making a full recovery. I understand that sometimes the pressures of the job can affect people’s health and well being.
“Rex Barnett, who was much loved by everybody, had his former illness resurface during his gruelling mayor’s year.
“It does tend to be the older councillors who are in their 60s or 70s who are given the role and they do have an exceptional amount of work put on them.”
If the mayor is taken ill it normally falls on the deputy mayor to take over the responsibilities, but it is understood Swindon’s deputy mayor Teresa Page has experienced a bereavement and is also unavailable.
The MP for North Swindon, Justin Tomlinson, joined colleagues in wishing Coun Martin well.
“I’m sorry to hear of the health problems Nick is facing,” he said.
“The opportunity to be mayor is something councillors treasure and, sadly, all too often health problems do arise.”