townviewHot TOPICS town h clean 

Warminster West by-election anybody?

(January 22, 2012)
TOWNSFOLK in Warminster are under notice that a town by-election could be called following the death of councillor Martin Baker.
"The official announcement that a vacancy for the ward that Martin represented in his ebullient and straightforward manner must be a clarion call to those who care for the future of our town to come forward." says Paul Macdonald.
 "We at vfw have observed our own quiet period of reflection until this weekend,"
"I am currently reflecting on the numerous enquiries that I have had. I have waited until now to answer for my view of the way forward."
The official procedure is that Wiltshire Council have now published a vacancy notice. It invites ten electors of the West Ward to request that the vacancy be filled by an election before the ninth of February.
It will be held on a Thursday some time in April. If not then the current council of ten Tories and one LibDem are then are asked by WC to choose someone they would like.
"I know that the Tories have their replacement in place as their prospective candidate came over to me on his way home from Martin's funeral at St. George's Church to proclaim himself, shake my hand which I took, and I honestly answered his questions," says Paul.
This by-election (if requested) will be held using a system whose parent organisation was the now deceased West Wiltshire District Council.
The new parent organisation is Wiltshire Council. As part of their deal to get the town and parish councils to forgo their right to hold their elections mid-term (two years before) as used to happen they agreed to pay for any town council by-election costs.
"So here goes," says Paul. "I admit that I lost the first by-election in what is one of the safest Tory wards in the county. I also lost that ward at the first attempt to win it at the second once before.
"The next question is - should the residents of the West Ward be given the chance to have their say at the ballot box like those of us 552 voters did in November in my ward?
''Of course they should. I cannot remember a co-option to a major town council in West Wiltshire since 1973.
(Warminster Town Council was formed from the 1973 local government re-organisation Act following the demise of Warminster UDC)
"The next poser is - if ten electors do not request the poll who should be appointed? I guess someone who is already part of their club will be conscripted!"
"And the final poser- will Steve or I stand for this for this by election? Or is there someone else standing in the wings? What do you think?
*The timetable now launched will mean that the election will be held in the Easter period and will give the newly elected twelve months to serve.

Steve Dancey added; ''I have already announced that I would not be prepared to sit on this council because I'm so annoyed by their partial and negative attitude - particularly in relation to the Town Hall. I will not be contesting this by-election.''

Click here to return to the HOT TOPICS page