I’ve lived in my small village for about 24 years and, in all that time, I’ve never known the parish council publicise an election or co-option. To be honest I’ve been too busy with work and travelling and so have not taken a great deal of interest in what the parish council has done (or should have done).
Recently I’ve had a great deal more time and have become part of a newly formed community group and so a few of us have been going along to the monthly (now every other month) parish council meetings. It’s very obvious that this has caused the existing councillors a lot of discomfort as they’ve been put under the spotlight – they just don’t like it.
A few months ago a councillor resigned and so we forced an election, fielded 2 candidates and one was duly elected. The first time this had happened in at least 24 years!
During the next parish council meeting the clerk announced how much the election had cost, a little over £2000, to which all the councillors were aghast. One councillor even said what a waste of money it had been and how were they going to pay for it (There is never anything in the budget for elections).
The clerk then said, unprompted, that if they’d been allowed to co-opt someone then it would not have cost anything. She also then said, incorrectly, that any decision regarding who was co-opted would be taken by an independent body.
This just goes to show how incompetent the clerk is. I believe that she has now realised her mistake!
I despair sometimes but will keep plugging away. May 2019 isn’t too far away