£9,000 - the price of democracy: the cost of electing a new replacement Councillor
At last night's (Monday 23 September) Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council it was announced that Cllr Harry Forbes has resigned from the Town Council leaving a vacancy within the 'East' ward. As there are more than six months to go before the next Council is voted in (May 2021), a new Councillor will have to be 'acquired' - either by an election (if requested by electors within the ward) or 'co-opted' (invited by the members of the Council).
An election will cost '£9,000 tops' according to Town Clerk Shelley Parker. If there is insufficient interest from electors regarding an election it will be for the existing Town Council members to 'co-opt' a new Councillor, i.e. identify and approach a suitable individual, who will then take a seat if willing to join.
A vote will be triggered if ten or more electors from the 'East' ward come forward and request an election. If not there will be the process of co-option.
A 'Notice of Vacancy' will be issued by the Town Clerk on Friday 27 September and if ten or more electors notify the Council that a vote is requested on or before 17 October then a by-election will take place before the end of December.
The cost of holding an election is pretty similar be there sixteen council seats being filled or, as in this case just the one.