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by (120 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Sometimes you have to. Vacancies have to be filled as soon as practicable and, if there was not enough demand for an election, the Council must accept what it is offered. Sustained co-option does, unfortunately, lead to a narrowing of the viewpoints represented.
by (1.3k points)
0 votes
There is no formal arrangement for co-option and in an ideal world the council should have a policy on the matter.  But as I have said many times, councillors could ask a bloke down the pub to join the council and that would be a legitimate way of getting councillors, as long as they sign a declaration of acceptance of office and a register of interest.
by (24.4k points)
When I first applied to be co-opted I spent two days researching why my PCs co-option policy was unlawful.   The precise "laws" seem unclear and as such there is no definitive right way of doing it , although the generally accepted policy seems to indicate that existing Councillors do have an option as to whether to accept an applicant or not.  I was expected to fill in  a couple of forms and that was it I was in,  albeit by means of a formal vote.  To be honest I wasn't sure whether I had  to attend but it certainly was not mandated .   But lets face it some Councils co-opt out of desperation and not in order to get the best candidates.  Many purist hate the mere concept of co-option
When there are insufficient candidates for election or no election is requested by the electorate to fill a casual vacancy, there's little option but to co-opt.  Ideally, you attempt to attract several candidates but in reality, its rare to get people queuing up to come in!  I'd not vote for a candidate I'd not met but then I get no choice in an actual election would I?  My council's co-option policy requires the candidate to be there (if he/she is that keen, he/she will be there!) and to give a presentation on what they can bring to the council in terms of experiences, life skills, background etc.  and then there's a vote as there is a requirement for the successful candidate to achieve a simple majority.  They're not co-opted if no one votes for them.

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