We are likely to have to have an election for one Parish Councillor on 2 May. As background, the electoral process for parish councils is as follows:
- Every four years all councillors stand down. Nominations are then sought for new councillors. If the number of nominations is less or equal the number of seats, all the nominees are elected unopposed. This was what happened with GSPC in 2018. If the number of nominations is more than the number of seats, then an election is held. It’s important to understand that this is a ‘full-blown’ election, so polling stations, tellers, etc. It is a very onerous process.
- If a councillor resigns or is removed mid-term, ‘normal’ procedure would be for nominations to be invited and for GSPC to interview and then co-opt a replacement. As always, the meeting to decide on the appointment is open to the public.
- However, if ten or more residents wish, they can ask SCDC to hold an election for that position only. This is what has happened and, again, it will necessitate a full-blown election for one seat (I have assumed here that there will be more than one candidate – I personally know of three already).
Now, these are the democratic rules, but:
- It incurs a significant expense for the village – £3,000-£4,000 (note that this could happen several times a year).
- It places an additional burden on the Clerk and Chair.
- It seeks to deprive GSPC of the ability to select and appoint the most appropriate candidate.
What GSPC intends to do is:
- Set up a hustings meeting to allow all candidates to be interviewed by GSPC and any villagers who wish to attend. This has been set for 11 April at 7pm in the Memorial Hall.
- GSPC to decide on its preferred candidate and inform villagers of that preference. It is obviously up to individual villagers to decide whether to take that recommendation or vote for an alternative candidate.
- We have asked SCDC to circulate notices of poll to all residents.
For further information, election timetables and nomination papers contact either the Clerk or SCDC electoral services.