Rowallane DUP Councillor William Walker has not attended a council meeting since February whilst continuing to claim a council wage. Clanrye News and Sport can reveal via a freedom of information request that the elected representative last attended a council meeting on the 21st of February 2022.
Mr Walker came under fire recently when a PSNI investigation led him to be arrested on suspicion of child sex grooming.
At the time a spokesperson for the PSNI stated:
“A 59-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, yesterday (Tuesday 22nd February) in the County Down area.
He has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.”
Following this the DUP suspended the Councillor pending the outcome of the investigation stating “William Walker has been suspended from membership pending the outcome of the police investigation.”
Forward the clock to May 2022 when a Clanrye News and Sport investigation found via a freedom of information request that Councillor Walker continues as a Councillor and claims a wage despite not attending any meetings.
Clanrye News and Sports FOI is as follows:
Q.We would like to make an FOI request regarding one of your Councillors. The Councillor in question Cllr William Walker of Rowallane DEA. We would like to know the following:
1. When did Mr Walker attend his last Council meeting?
2. Is Mr Walker still being paid by Council and still in receipt of any allowances up until today’s date (25 May 2022)?
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council holds the following recorded information in relation to your request:
1. Active and Healthy Communities Committee meeting on Monday 21 February 2022.
Questions now remain as to whether Councillor Walker will return to council. If not will Councillor Walker step down from his position? Will the DUP co-opt someone in his place? Clanrye News and Sport has contacted Newry, Mourne and Down Council regarding the legalities surrounding this.
At time of print we have received no response from Councillor Walker.