A DISTRICT councillor has been sacked for not attending Taunton Deane Council meetings for six months.

Julie Wood is the second LibDem Lyngford representative forced out within weeks.

Andrew Woolley resigned and was banned from public office for two years for offensive material on his council laptop, although LibDem Nicci Court won the ensuing by-election.

Another blow sees Vivienne Stock-Williams leave the ruling LibDems and become an Independent.

Consequently, the Conservatives are the largest group with 25 councillors, LibDems have 24, Labour one, Independents five and one vacancy.

After Cllr Wood was ousted at Tuesday’s full council, LibDem leader Ross Henley said: “I utterly condemn the fact she hasn’t been carrying out her duties.

“I got her suspended from the group, then asked the chief executive to remove her.”

Ms Wood, who was unavailable to comment, has legally claimed £2,150 allowances for the past six months.

Fellow LibDem Terry Murphy, the only surviving Lyngford councillor from the last election, said Ms Wood had moved following a relationship breakdown.

He said: “She’s let the party down, but while she was here, she did lots of good work.”

Conservative leader Cllr John Williams slammed the LibDems for holding the by-election to replace Mr Woolley when they knew another councillor’s departure was imminent.

“Residents have to go through another by-election at huge cost to the council,” said Mr Williams.

“The LibDems are now the minority party and the present administration is discredited and should step aside.”

Speaking about her defection, Cllr Stock-Williams, who represents Wellington West and Rockwell Green, said: “There’s no one reason for my decision, it’s just been a gradual evolution.”

*DEANE councillors voted to freeze their allowances next year – all members receive a basic £4,301, with extra payments for executive councillors and committee chairmen and the leader, who receives £12,098.