Please write to the Returning Officer
By TGRWorzel | Thursday, December 22, 2011, 22:46
Hedge End Town Council currently has a vacancy for a Councillor, following the resignation on 21/12/2011 of Cllr David Humby.
How this vacancy is filled depends entirely upon what happens over the next couple of weeks.
If enough citizens of Hedge End contact the Returning Officer at Eastleigh Borough Council, requesting that the post be filled by an election, a by-election will be called. The threshold is quite low, only 10 such responses are required, so here's your opportunity to make a difference. Perhaps even register your disatisfaction at the way the Town Council have not put up much of fight to prevent further development in Hedge End. Details of who to write to can be seen here. The deadline is 13th January 2012.
If the Returning Officer receives less than 10 responses, Hedge End Town Council will be able to co-opt somebody to fill the vacancy, i.e. appoint somebody without having to go through the formality of an election. Because the Liberal Democrats dominate Hedge End Town Council, they are in the perfect position to make sure another Liberal Democrat is co-opted. Which would be fine if the Council were working effectively.
Unfortunately the Council isn't working too well at the moment. The Lib Dems are obviously very happy with their stanglehold, but from the residents point of view there isn't enough opposition to cause matters such as the local plan to be debated properly, see this story on Eastleigh News.
So if you care about Hedge End and want to see more effective local democracy, do please drop the Returning Officer a line, before January 13th, requesting "that the vacancy in Shamblehurst ward of Hedge End Town Council should be filled via an election".
Many of the elections to the Town Council in May of 2011 were uncontested, which means that nobody stood against the Lib Dems and they were returned unopposed without a single X being placed on a ballot paper.
That was clearly a mistake.
I don't think it will happen again....