A SERIOUSLY ill district councillor has been excused attending meetings and carrying out any casework, write Daniel Mumby.

Conservative Cllr Malcolm Cavill, who represents the Islemoor ward on South Somerset District Council, has just completed a lengthy leave of absence, which was extended last month.

Cllr Cavill, who lives in Beercrocombe and has been a councillor for two years, has a weakened immune system due to the medication he has been on to treat his cancer.

He has been on sick leave since November 2020 to allow him to recover from his ongoing illness.

Other members will continue to take up his casework while he is off.

The full council agreed to grant Cllr Cavill a further leave of absence at its meeting last Thursday (May 19).

Cllr Martin Wale told the meeting: "I spoke to Malcolm today and as we all know he has been through a really terrible time.

“His latest treatment is called ‘CAR-T’ – and it’s something to do with stem cells.

"It’s a very specialised treatment which costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, and it’s something to do with transporting blood to America.

“He feels much better – he can go out a bit now.

"Unfortunately he can’t go very far, because this treatment has removed all his immunities from childhood.

“He’s got to have 13 injections now, going back to measles, mumps and all that – it’s a real trial.

“He has been very grateful for the assistance of other area north members, particularly Mike Stanton and Adam Dance who have kept an eye on his ward work.”

CAR-T – chimeric antigen receptors cell therapy – is a form of cancer therapy where blood cells are harvested and trained to fight cancer cells.

Cllr Wale said Cllr Cavill was hoping to attend the next meeting of the area north committee on June 22.

Council chairman Cllr Paul Maxwell said: “We all wish Malcolm the very best and hope that he recovers from having to take these injections all the time.

“I remember that when I last had contact with him, he was cycling around his local area and seemingly getting quite fit again.

“I hope the treatment that he’s having is going to be positive and help him, and I hope we all see him back as soon as possible.”