Last week we reported that Cheadle Town Council had agreed to defer advertising for the co-option of two casual vacancies which have become available on their council. One position in Cheadle North East Ward became vacant following the passing of councillor Ian Whitehouse, who sadly passed away on November 30; while the vacancy in the Cheadle South East Ward became available when former councillor Peter Elkin decided to step down to retire in December.
Last week we reported that Cheadle Town Council had agreed to defer advertising for the co-option of two casual vacancies which have become available on their council.
One position in Cheadle North East Ward became vacant following the passing of councillor Ian Whitehouse, who sadly passed away on November 30; while the vacancy in the Cheadle South East Ward became available when former councillor Peter Elkin decided to step down to retire in December.
Earlier in January, we reported that there are also casual vacancies for the same wards on Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) which are being advertised on the district council’s website at www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/elections.
The decision whether to defer the co-option of the two positions on Cheadle Town Council until May was made with an11 for and two against vote at the council’s virtual meeting on Monday, February 1.
Now that the Government has since given the green light for local elections (which could include this bi-election) to take place in May, the Times & Echo contacted Cheadle Town Council to ask if the two vacant councillor positions will now go to the vote in May.
Cheadle Town Clerk Dave Mullington said: “In respect of the two vacancies within our town council, we have to follow the process set under Electoral Law.
“As a town council, we report vacancies to the Elections Team at SMDC, who then advertise the positions for a period of 14 days.
“If ten or more people do not call for an election during this period, we are served with a notice to reflect that.
“If ten or more people had called for an election for either or both vacancies on Cheadle Town Council, we would have held by-elections alongside the County Elections in May.
“Given the fact that no election was called in respect of these vacancies, the positions will now not be filled by way of an election until 2023 (the next elections for parish/town councils).”
Mr Mullington added: “What we can do, now that the notice of election period is over, is advertise the positions for co-option, or select people for co-option if they put themselves forward.
“As you are aware, at last weeks meeting councillors voted not to advertise for co-option at this time. As long as thecouncil remains quorate, this decision is within co-option rules.
“Clearly if we were to receive applications of formal interest in the positions, councillors may consider their position at future meetings.
“The process initially, would be to formally write to the Clerk expressing their interest and confirming their eligibility to stand under section 79(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, and that they are not disqualified under section 80.”
The Times & Echo also contacted Cheadle Town Mayor Ian Plant for a comment about this.
Councillor Plant said: “We said we would review this in May.
“No one has come forward for the positions and that is why there will be no election in May for the Cheadle Town Council positions.
“We will leave it open and the council will review it in May when we may or may not advertise for co-option.
“I think we have got to stop at what we have got at the moment, but it will be up to the council.”
See readers’ comments about the two vacant councillor positions on Cheadle Town Council, in our Talking Point section on page 21 of this week’s paper.
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