Coun Justin Tomlinson (Con, Abbey Meads)
It's impossible to pick a 'typical' week - there's no such thing - so the fairest way is just to start from the day the Adver approached me.

My diary only has the fixed appointments but of course there's a lot more time spent on phone calls, emails and casework every day.

  • Thursday: Attended the Leader's advisory group where we discuss each cabinet member's latest projects.

I also met education officers to discuss schools in the northern sector.

I meet council officers every week from each of my three portfolios as well as from other departments when needed.

I also chair the library project board to discuss progress on the new central library.

  • Friday: Carried out a series of media interviews to promote the Meet the Railwaymen event at the Steam Museum.

A lot of my work involves getting the message across about all the fantastic facilities and events we have in Swindon.

I've always made myself available for media enquiries at short notice so the phone is hardly ever switched off.

  • Saturday/Sunday: Dealt with a pile of correspondence and casework from residents in Abbey Meads.

There's a big issue concerning planning permission on a particular development, so I liaised with officers to try and resolve that.

Recycling is also a hot topic. We now recycle 42 per cent of household waste and inevitably there are some local teething troubles, so I'm sorting those out.

The previous Saturday I'd attended the Festival of Sport where we had a huge turnout, and the councillors' team came third from last in the go-kart race - one better than last year at least.

  • Monday: Had a meeting about Stratton St Margaret Parish Council to explore how we can work together to try and reduce the precept, or council tax.

I know many residents are concerned about this so I'm working with fellow ward councillors to try and resolve it.

  • Tuesday: It's the monthly cabinet meeting tomorrow and I'm presenting a major report on leisure strategy, so that needed finalising.

It involves more refurbishment and rebuilding at the Oasis and Link centres to bring them up to scratch.

  • Wednesday: Cabinet. One of the most important meetings of the month, and particularly for my portfolio on this occasion.

Beforehand we have the open forum which the Conservatives introduced to promote open government.

So much of a councillor's work happens away from the Civic Offices.

Nevertheless I'm proud to have a 100 per cent attendance record at council meetings.

Coun Stan Pajak (Lib Dem, Eastcott)
Like many councillors my life is a balancing act between a full-time job, family, interests and being a councillor.

Needless to say it can be difficult. Being a councillor is not simply attending meetings but answering residents' letters, telephone calls and emails.

At work you tend to be the focus for everybody's complaints about the council ranging from non-collected rubbish to spending £80m on a revamp of the Oasis and Link Centre - which I happen to support.

My interest in the community also means I am a school governor and the chairman of a Community Council.

  • Monday
    I work a shift system with alternating weeks of earlies (6 -2pm) or lates (2-10pm). Happily the chap who does the same job as me on the opposite shift is happy to change shifts when I need to attend evening meetings - many thanks Graham. This week I only do a late shift on the Monday and exchange the rest of the week.

Every day this week sees me chasing the preparations for a Family Fun Day at Queen's Park.

I received, in addition to the normal council papers, several replies from resident surveys we have undertaken in the Eastcott ward.

  • Tuesday
    Attended St Joseph's College governors' meeting. All my children following my footsteps have attended the school and it remains close to my heart and one of the best schools in Swindon.

The meeting starts with a prayer and is full of the complex issues facing our schools today, notably for St Joseph's is the poor funding it receives in comparison to other like schools.

I have a particular role in that I am the Special Educational Needs governor.

Sorted out an ice cream man for the Fun Day and confirmed the Deputy Mayor will be opening the day at 11am with the Town Crier Fred Ferris.

  • Wednesday
    Received loads of council emails and continue chasing various departments regarding resident's problems.

Took part in the Lethbridge 10K run. This is a fantastic event in its 13th year. Significantly with the Wichelstowe development this is the last time we will be able to run this route. Finished the race in 49 minutes.

  • Thursday
    Attended the economic, environmental and sustainability overview and scrutiny committee - the name is almost as long as the agenda.

Justin Tomlinson gave a good performance answering questions on culture.

Good news for me was the fact it appears we are close to selecting a location for the new museum and art gallery - I can reveal it is very close to the town centre.

Another important topic was public toilets and the implementation of the excellent recommendations of a task group on which I served. Eight months after they were accepted it now appears the policy will begin to be implemented - the committee was relieved. I also complained about the state of the town's pavements and roads and became classed by the committee chairman as the pavements' champion.

  • Friday
    Did the shopping.

Last meeting of the week with Denise Bentley, my colleague on the Queens Park Community Council to sort out details of the Fun Day. Subjects included stalls, invites, posters, media, the programme and prayers for good weather.

Coun Derique Montaut(Lab, Central)
The coverage over councillors' attendance is an important aspect of making sure that democratically elected members are fulfilling the role expected of them.

However, what those records do not show is the level of commitment some make to their duties outside of the regular committees.

There are some councillors that attend very few approved duties.

Yet, there are those that are willing to participate in many different meetings, recorded or not, as well as carrying out their ward duties to the best of their ability.

Hopefully in giving this level of transparency it will give a fairer indication of the dedication and time many councillors in the Borough give to their position.

Councillor Montaut's Diary: Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th June:

  • Monday
    10am - noon: Council and ward correspondence.

1pm - 2pm: Meeting with political assistant
6pm - 9.30pm: Labour group meeting.

  • Tuesday
    10am - 11.30am: Dealt with ward issues and correspondence
    12.30pm - 2.30pm: Analysed cabinet papers.

5.45pm - 9.30pm: Attended Swindon and Wiltshire Fire Authority.
8.45am - 11am: Preparation for day's meetings, enquiries concerning press article about the police, casework, overlapping correspondence.
11am - 11.45am: Community leaders and officers' meeting concerning community planning issues.
Noon - 1.30pm: Meeting at Gablecross Police Station concerning ward issues.
Afternoon: Attended funeral
3.30pm - 4.15pm: Meeting with political assistant.
5.00pm - 5.15pm: Arrive home, told off by wife for taking the car and having no time for meal.
5.30pm - 7pm: Meeting with the Academy developers.
7.30pm - 9.30pm: Meeting with Broadgreen community leaders, members and local residents. Contacted fellow ward members to give feedback from meeting, and issues raised during the day. Left remaining correspondence for the next day.
9.30am - 10.30am: Meeting with councillor Ali
11am - 1pm: Worked through backlog of correspondence and ward issues.
6pm - 7pm: Meeting between Conservative and Labour chief whips.
8.30am - 9.30am: Dealt with ward issues and correspondence
10am - 12pm: Meeting with deputy leader of the council.
10.30am - 12.30pm: Meeting with residents of Maxwell Street.
6.30pm - 9pm: Meeting at Turner Street Bowls Club.