Edinburgh councillor facing sex charges set to lose elected office after failing to turn up at meetings

A councillor who is due to stand trial later this year for alleged sexual offences is set to be disqualified for failing to turn up at meetings.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 7:00 am
Councillor Ritchie has not attended meetings at Edinburgh City Chambers
Councillor Ritchie has not attended meetings at Edinburgh City Chambers

Lewis Ritchie, who was elected as an SNP councillor for Leith Walk but is now an independent, has not attended any meeting of the council or its committees for six months.

And under the rules, unless he attends next week’s full council meeting, or the council accepts there is a reason for his absence, he will be disqualified as a councillor .

He last attended a meeting on December 10, 2020. And unless he attends the full council on May 27 he will be declared no longer to be a councillor.

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The 36-year-old was charged last year in relation to alleged offences between April 2016 and October 2019 in Leith. Another incident was said to have happened in October 207 in Kelvinbridge, Glasgow.

A trial date has been set for July.

A report to the full council says: “ The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 states that if a member of a local authority does not attend a meeting of the council or any of its committees within a period of six consecutive months, then they cease to be a councillor unless the council agrees there is a reason for this absence.

"In the event of Councillor Ritchie not attending the council meeting or council deciding there is a reason for said absence then he will cease to be a member of the council on 10 June 2021.”

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