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Total of 9 seats available.  5 Councillors currently.  1 seat previously requested for an election by the residents (in 2021), but no one stood.  The other three seats have arisen over time by resignations and/or the increase in seats a couple of years ago (but never filled).  These three seats had the vacancy notices put out but no calls for an election were forthcoming, and then no one came forward for cooption.  We then heard someone in the Parish might be interested and the DC then said we had to fill the seat that the election was called for first. Fair enough.

Of course, the notice of election for the one seat has resulted in two nominations and therefore an election between two people even though we have 4 seats available.  I'm sure this falls into the category of the cost of democracy but we will in all likelihood simply coopt the one that isn't elected through this costly and time consuming process.

Could we have done this better to avoid a waste of time and money?
by (130 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
Afraid not.  Once a Councillor resigns or a seat becomes vacant, a formal notice is put up and if 10 or more electors request a by-election from your District/County Council then one has to be held, at this point it is out of the Parish Councils hands.  If they only receive less than 10 requests the Parish Council can then go down the co-option route.  The by-election will for that seat only and because two people submitted nomination papers the local elector services would have announced a by-election.  It sounds like there was a campaign to put in requests for an election.  This is the age of democracy and yes it ultimately costs the local people because the pre-crept has to be increased to cover costs.
by (3.8k points)
I’ve head of cases like this where common sense prevailed where to avoid costs candidates dropped out and were co-opted

In the last election cycle one nearby Parish had an election in one Ward when there were not enough Candidates standing in another Ward
The Chair Parish council failed to get elected and then got co-opted at the first meeting!
 We also have a Parish with one Ward and 12 Councillors
To me Wards are irrelevant and each Parish should just have one

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