When is a majority not a majority?

0 votes
Our local Parish Council have been talking about  a certain proposal (for which there is widespread public support) for just about twelve months now but still nothing has been done. I am reliably informed that the council have voted on this issue twice and each time the idea was approved by a majority of the Council. However, because two councillors declared a prejudicial interest they did not vote and the chairman and one other councillor voted against and although defeated, are refusing to recognise the outcome of the vote. Is this legal?
asked by (120 points)

1 Answer

0 votes

Presumeably you are a member of the public, one that supports this proposal. In the first instance it might be prudent to check the situation out with a councillor or the Parish Clerk. There may be some legitimate reason that the council cannot proceed even though a resolution has been passed. You may attend any ordinary meeting of the council and, by prior arrangement with the Chairman, speak briefly on this or any other issue.

In normal circumstances, a majority is just that and must hold sway. The Chairman has no 'special power' to refuse to recognise the legitimate decision of council. Similarly, the councillors who did not vote have no authority to obstruct the decision made without them.

answered by (3.9k points)
Thank you for your answer. Yes I am a member of the public and our council consists of 7 members. Hence, 3 voted in favour, 2 voted against and 2 did not vote but had they done, they would have also voted against. I should have made this clear in my original post. Does this make any difference?
One other thing, a chairman only has a casting vote in event of a tie does he not?
In reply to your first comment, no it makes no difference. How two councillors without a vote might have voted is irrelevent. The fact remains that the matter was determined by the remaining five resulting in a majority decision.
As for the chairman's casting vote; you are quite correct.

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