Motion for Honiton councillors to resign en-masse and hold a fresh election to be discussed next week

PUBLISHED: 14:04 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:04 06 March 2020

The Beehive in Honiton. Ref mhh 42 19TI 2191. Picture: Terry Ife

The Beehive in Honiton. Ref mhh 42 19TI 2191. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Honiton Town Council could experience a mass resignation of councillors if members decide to approve a motion at their next meeting.

A report penned by Councillor James Wyatt has acknowledged a petition, started up by a group of townsfolk called 'Honiton Residents', calling for members of the town council to voluntarily quit the council and for a new election to be staged.

Cllr Wyatt has floated three options for town councillors to address - but has recommended members approve the third one.

It proposes the town clerk accepts nominations for all town council positions in the next month.

If there are two candidates per position, Cllr Wyatt said the council should deem an election as a 'productive activity' for Honiton, and councillors will resign and seek re-election should they choose to.

Cllr Wyatt said Honiton Town Council is not bound by the petition, but said the principle used by Government is that if 100,000 signatures are given to a petition, it should be debated in Parliament.

He said: "Scaling that from a population of 65million in the UK to 12,000 in Honiton, the principle would be that the town council should debate the petition once 65 residents have signed any petition."

To date, 527 residents have signed the petition - more than eight times the minimum number required based on calculations drawn up by Cllr Wyatt.

His report said: "It has been recognised that no town councillor has been elected the public currently.

"If there are enough candidates to contest seats and therefore deliver a representative council this will be of great value to Honiton.

"If no seats are contested, then an election is a waste of time and distraction from more pressing matters for the town."

The motion will be discussed at Honiton Town Council's meeting next Wednesday, which has been moved to the Mackarness Hall in anticipation of a large turnout.

The other options proposed by Cllr Wyatt are: 'to accept the concerns of the public but do not uphold the petition' and 'fully accept the proposal of the petition and all councillors resign their positions and seek re-election should they choose to'.

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