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0 votes
The sole applicant for our casual vacancy works for a restaurant who has previously made an official complaint (now resolved) to the PC for victimisation.  The Chair and majority of Cllrs feel that this makes the applicant a ‘spy’ and should not be elected.
by (120 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
We come to a conflict of opinion here. Councillors are signed up to judge each decision they make on the facts and merit of what is  presented and not their opinion (imagined or other). The fact that this person was employed by a complainant is not grounds to exclude their being considered.A Parish Council has no obligation to accept any applicant for co-option but could in such a case leave themselves open to criticism of  unfounded prejudice over the applicants association with a previous complainant.This needs much more examination rather than "feelings"
by (27.2k points)
Co option means anyone standing can be rejected for any reason no matter how petty

It reinforces the belief among Councillors that they are a private members club not a public body

The way round it is to call an election but timing is of the essence. I didn’t realise until it happened to us that it is possible for the Monitoring Officer to call an election
"The way round it is to call an election but timing is of the essence. I didn’t realise until it happened to us that it is possible for the Monitoring Officer to call an election"

Could you expand on this please Jules?
Our Borough Council is concerned about the vacancies at Parish level, for example my own Parish has four vacancies but that hasn’t stopped them refusing to co opt candidates
I know the Borough has considered overriding the system and nominating people to the vacant posts although how they do this and where they get the people from is a mystery to me
Earlier this year as we were holding elections in May anyway the Borough posted election notices for every vacant Parish Councillor seat but of course Covid intervened
It required 10 people in any Ward to activate an election
We had one person who was not my cup of tea get rejected for co option  three times but I felt this was a disgrace so when someone resigned I got 10 electors to ask for an election and he got in
It was worth it to see the faces at the next meeting
10 electors to request an election.
Many thanks for your explicit reply Jules.

The 10 electors only applies after an vacancy is declared and from memory you have 14 days after the notice is published to do this
Based on experience a lot of Parish Councils don’t go out of their way to publicise vacancies
0 votes
This question again highlights the problem with co-option.

Councillors should NOT be allowed to play judge nor jury. If an applicant has fulfilled all of the legal requirements for the role of Councillor and are the sole applicant - they should not be refused, it is totally undemocratic. If this was an election and they were the sole person standing they would become the Councillor.

IF there were two people standing for co-option then yes there is a decision to be made but I find it absolutely disgraceful that Council's act in this way.

I appreciate and understand that Councillors are in a fairly privileged position to be able to assess what their area needs but its open too much to abuse. The whole process needs a total review.
by (5.4k points)

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