Parish council by-election has not yet been ruled out

Thursday 18th October 2018 10:00 am
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AFTER the recent resignations of three of its members, one seat on Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council has now been filled, with two vacancies still remaining.

Independent Richard Rowson submitted the only valid nomination, after a by-election was called, and has joined the council uncontested –and with immediate effect.

He will be required to complete an acceptance of office form and will then be eligible to take part in this month’s full parish council meeting, scheduled for Monday, October 29, at the Millennium Centre.

But another candidate is needed to fill one of the remaining vacancies after a by-election was called.

If two or more candidates come forward an election will be held on Thursday, December 13 after the original deadline was set for early October.

The two vacancies were created by the resignation of chairman, Jane Ives and former Neighbourhood Development Plan chairman Emma Winfield, who was also a parish councillor, in August.

The third vacancy occurred when James Green resigned in May, and will be filled by co-option, after the parish council has issued the appropriate notice.

Concerns have been raised on the community website by residents over the costs of a by-election, which can be in excess of £9,000, calling it “an utter waste of taxpayers money”, since elections will be taking place in May 2019 across the district, which will include parish councillors seeking re-election, incurring similar costs again.

A by-election is called when 10 or more voters ask for it to take place to fill a vancant seat on a council.

Alternatives include keeping the seat vacant until the next scedule election which are held every four years. This usually occurs if a vacancy arises shortly before a planned election.

The last time the parish council faced mass resignations by four of its councillors was in October 2012, when Bill Mouland, Eve Hope, Anna James and John Tough handed in their resignations at the same time.

The last parish council by-election took place in December 2011, after Jeremy Austin-Olsen and Dr Sangita Judge handed in their resignations.

Since then any vacancies have been filled by co-option, incurruing no costs to the taxpayers.

Jane Ives, Jeanette Kirby, Eddie Trotter, Scott Gavin, Philip Darling, Susie Hooper, Charles Berry, James Green, Susan Garnett, Emma Winfield and Jessica Taplin all joined the council by co-option..

Since 2015, the only remaining co-opted parish councillors are Mrs Kirby, Mr Trotter, Mrs Garnett and Mrs Taplin.

Michael Croucher, Barbara Easton, Don Jerrard, Jackie Poole, Eddie Trotter, Jeanette Kirby and Jane Ives were re-elected in 2015 with Thea Jourdan joining the parish council at the same time.

Nominations must be sent to EHDC’s elections team, Penn’s Place, Petersfield GU31 4EX after November 8 – and by 4pm on Friday, November 16.

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