Residents accused of rule abuse

VILLAGERS have been accused of abusing the rules after calling for a parish by-election.

The parish council is facing its third by-election in a year following the resignation of members Lynne Morton and Jacqueline Bexfield.

Councillors had been hoping to co-opt colleagues, but residents have insisted on carrying out their right to vote.

At the council’s annual meeting, Chairman Joe Sennett criticised the decision for costing around £7,000.

He said: “The biggest expense to the parish in the last year has been the two by-elections that have been called, and there is a third one pending.

“It is legal to call a by-election, but we didn’t budget for them, nor this one coming. The cost is in excess of £7,000.

“In my opinion the rules have been used and abused. £7,000 could have done quite a bit for the village.”

Last June there was a by-election after members Carolynn and Richard Lillico resigned from the council, followed by another vote in August after the resignation of Keith Moore.

At the time Coun Bexfield said the calls for elections reflected people’s lack of faith in the council being able to co-opt a member ‘unbiasedly’.