Election of town councillors in Honiton

Letter from town clerk Lyn Hargood.

There has been a certain amount of speculation in the press recently about the status of councillors on Honiton Town Council. I would just like to clear up what is obviously a misunderstanding.

At the election in May 2011, 15 councillors stood for election – nine in St Michael’s ward and six in St Paul’s ward. As there are only nine vacancies in each ward, there was no need for a vote to be taken; the councillors were, therefore, elected unopposed and are fully elected members of the council.

This also occurred in some other parishes and at district council level, where nine councillors were elected unopposed.

In order to fill the three remaining vacancies, the town council publicised the opportunity for members of the public to be co-opted on to the council as this was the only possible option so close to a full election.

The vacancies were filled and the town council, therefore, now has three co-opted councillors.

No town councillors have been appointed. Appointed councillors are only put in place where there are so many vacancies on a parish council that it cannot act; in this case the district council would have had the right to appoint people to fill the vacancies.

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The town council is now actively looking for a replacement councillor following the resignation in September of Cllr Young.

Should the public ask for an election (as indicated on the Notice of Vacancy on the town council noticeboards) then this will be held. Otherwise, a replacement councillor will be co-opted.

I am always available and willing to talk through these issues with any members of the public who feel they require more information.

Lyn Hargood

Town Clerk