A ‘no show’ councillor has been booted off Copeland council this week for failing to turn up to a single meeting in six months.

Michael Guest was elected to serve Kells as an Independent in 2015 but has been to ten meetings out of a possible 36 in that time – netting him an average of more than £1,200 in taxpayer-funded allowances for every appearance.

The former town mayor did not serve on any committees amid claims he could not be relied upon to turn up to them and was only expected to attend the monthly meeting of the full council.

Councillors also said he left the two meetings he attended in 2018 before the halfway point.

Hardworking colleagues serving on multiple committees told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that Mr Guest had let down the community he was elected to serve, branding his conduct “disgraceful”.

Labour leader Councillor Raymond Gill claimed Mr Guest had “committed zero” to the council in four years.

He said: “He’s on no committees so he has done no work and claimed over £12,000 on his allowance.

“Some of us are on three or four committees and put our heart and soul into it and try to make a difference in our communities. Even when he did attend meetings, he contributed absolutely nothing – and the people of Kells have been badly let down.

“I understand he doesn’t even live in the borough. I’m disappointed for the people he represents – they deserve to have someone speak on their behalf.”

Coun Gill, who was first elected as a councillor in 1975, added that Mr Guest’s attendance was the worst he had ever seen.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has heard unconfirmed reports that Mr Guest lives more than 260 miles away in Hereford.

His Whitehaven address on High Road, Kells,  listed on the council website is empty and has been put on the market by estate agent Right Move.

Conservative leader, councillor David Moore, said: “This is very disappointing for his electorate. We are elected to represent people in our community. We are their voice on the council. And if someone failing to do that, they are not just letting themselves down, but they are letting their whole community down.”

Coun Moore stressed that the council had a good record of helping people battling illness including drafting in extra people and awarding dispensations.

Mr Guest was also town councillor for the Kells ward until May when he was removed for the same reason.

He was an independent candidate in the Copeland by-election in 2017, receiving 811 votes as Trudy Harrison was named MP.

Mr Guest was spotted in the audience of Question Time in Hereford at the same time as a crunch town council budget meeting.

A subsequent meeting of the town council descended into chaos and police were called when Mr Guest refused to move into the public gallery despite no longer being a councillor.

He also landed himself in hot water when he claimed on social media that “corruption was endemic in Copeland (council)”, but was later forced to admit he had no evidence to support his allegations.

A claim made against Whitehaven Town Council by Mr Guest over the ownership of two ceremonial medals from his time as mayor was dismissed in 2018.

A spokesman for Copeland Council said: “Michael Guest has been disqualified from Copeland Borough Council for non-attendance at meetings.

"Mr Guest has failed to attend Council or one of its committee for a period of six months; his last recorded attendance being September 13, 2018.

"Mr Guest was sent a letter on February 8 to advise that his further non-attendance would result in disqualification.

"Mr Guest’s disqualification is in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.

"Due to the close proximity of the next borough council elections on May 2, 2019, there will not be a by-election for the vacant seat for the Kells ward.”

It is understood that the former councillor had been battling illness in recent months but he was unavailable for comment.