The notice of election will be made public on March 2nd, which is when nominations will also start to be accepted.
What has happened is that, in the past fortnight, enough residents in this district have called for a democratic process – rather than leaving it to the council to choose among themselves who should fill the vacancy (which is what would have happened otherwise).
The vacancy was caused by the resignation of councillor Jacquie Leach last month.
We have already been told that one person (the person who organised the election petition) is definitely going to put his name forward for the seat.
So far, so good, for democracy.
However, the sting in the tail is that by-elections are very expensive.
A by-election would have to be held, by law, if more than one person decides to stand.
Draycott Council has to foot the bill for any of its elections, and the Clerk to the council reckons the final cost for this one could be as high as £4000. That is a huge sum – half what the council raises in council tax each year!
This is why area councillors are usually urged never to stand down (except in general election years, when things get cheaper). A councillor who wants to resign is usually begged not to, unless they have a really powerful reason!
So… unless all this money is to be drained away, some responsibility, from all of us, needs to be shown.
Could the council set up a small sub-group to try to meet all the candidates, and ask the candidates if they seriously want to stand? The sub-group could even ask the candidates to talk among themselves, to perhaps come to an agreement among themselves about the one that is best suited to go forward?
After all, this is only a two-year tenure. There will be another (full) election to Draycott Parish Council in 2019.
One suggestion was that the council could try to get an election postponed until May (when the county-council election takes place), as joint elections are cheaper. However, May is just a tiny bit too late to satisfy the legal criteria, so that’s a no-go.
The council meets this Monday (20th February). Let’s hope they have some ideas and show some leadership.
If you also have ideas, you can present them at the public participation session which takes place from 7.30-7.45.
Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page. (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address. You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).