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Three town councillors eye unitary posts but ......

(March 07, 2009)

 LOCAL Conservatives seem to be at a loss to bring in fresh blood to contest the unitary elections and have chosen three sitting town councillors to fight the town seats.

If all three are elected, and a matter comes before the area board in which they have to declare an interest by virtue of their membership of the town council, then the board will not have a quorum.
If we are to take these candidates seriously then they should make it clear that they will offer resign their town council seats. At this point the whole town council could renew their mandate at no additional public expense.
We await a reply - but don't hold your breath. Even so we might want to make the electorate aware of the matter if we decide to contest these elections.
We raised this issue just a few days ago and we understand that legal advice is being sought.
Perhaps we should check the attendance records of the councillors involved just to see whether or not membership of two authorities is too much trouble.
-------hot topic from last month
SOME last minute changes being made to the handbook of rules governing area boards has made it even more essential for unitary councillors not to serve on town councils concurrently.

Previously it was thought that the quorum for an area board was going to be two but now we are led to understand (by a very reliable source) that it will be three.

This means that if, following the elections on 4 June, a couple of councillors have to declare an interest at a board meeting because they are also members of a town council and the number able to vote falls below three the board cannot operate and take decisions.

“There are very strict rules governing declaration of interest these days and any town councillor who stands should be aware that they may well be asked to resign from the town council if they are successful in gaining a seat on the unitary council,” said Steve Dancey.

“I believe one town councillor from Warminster may be standing for election in another town - he will of course find it easier to continue as the question of interest is less likely to arise..”

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