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Donington Parish Council by-election is a ‘waste of public money’

Donington Parish Council news. (SG300117-208TW)
Donington Parish Council news. (SG300117-208TW)

Donington parish councillors are upset that a by-election will cost around £3,000 while the person elected will serve about a year.

The parish council has opted not to have polling cards for the four-way contest in April because that would add an estimated £1,500 to the bill.

It’s a sheer waste of public money.
Coun Phil Lovell

Council chairman Arthur Baldwin said: “I do quite honestly feel this money could be better spent but the general public have the right to request the election.”

Coun Mark Rollinson said £3,000 represents 13 per cent of the council’s £23,000 precept – the sum levied to cover parish services – and, if polling cards were added, it would be 19.5 per cent.

He hoped the ten villagers who got together to request the election realised the impact, the cost to the village.

Coun Rollinson said: “Basically, as a village, we can’t afford a by-election.”

The by-election follows the resignation of Coun Colin Harrison but, previously, the council has co-opted (appointed) a new councillor to fill a vacancy.

Coun Phil Lovell told Thursday’s meeting: “It’s a sheer waste of public money.”

Coun Rollinson said: “I really like the idea that four people have shown an interest in the parish council – it’s just a shame they didn’t wait until next May.”

Coun Lovell was worried that the council could be caught out in future with more by elections.

“You could finish up having four or five in a year,” he said.

Clerk Diane Fairweather said a lot of councils budget for by-elections and include them in the precept.

Coun Baldwin said: “We are all held to account to spend the money wisely and all of a sudden this is pushed upon us.”

The by-election candidates, who all come from Donington, are: Lizzie Almond, of Northorpe; Nicky Burdall, of Town Dam Lane, Terri Cornwall, of Malting Lane, and Sue Kent, of Washdyke Lane.

Polling is from 7am-10pm on Thursday, April 12 at the Ruby Hunt Centre, in Church Street.

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