Parish council electors have successfully requested that a casual vacancy on the parish council be filled by election. If there is only one nomination, the one nominee will be 'elected unopposed'. If there are two or more nominations, the Borough Council will organise a parish council by-election and the parish council must pay the Borough Council's costs of organising it.
The parish council is baulking at the cost of the election, several thousand pounds, and is refusing to pay for polling cards which are an additional expense. Instead, the parish council is intending to print and distribute to every household its own letter setting out the date and times of the election, the location of the 3 polling stations in the parish - and even possibly some information about the candidates whose identities will be known by the time the 'polling card letters' are distributed.
This all sounds highly dubious and possibly illegal. Surely, each elector is entitled to their own personal polling card (or letter?) which must contain their individual polling number and which must direct them to their own specific polling station. Surely, any letter sent by the parish council purporting to be a 'polling card' cannot contain any information about any candidate as the parish council must maintain strict political impartiality.
I would welcome guidance on these issues.