Admin error leads to two by-elections for seats on St Neots Town Council

St Neots

St Neots - Credit: Archant

Two by-elections will be held in St Neots next month after an administrative error led to two newly-appointed town councillors being disqualified.

The candidates are yet to be announced, but The Hunts Post can confirm that by-elections will be held in the St Neots East and Eaton Ford wards on August 6 – and council tax payers will be footing the bill which could run into thousands of pounds.

According to the official election notices published by the town council today (Wednesday), the deadline for nominations of candidates is Friday, July 10.

The administrative error came to light when David Harty (Eaton Ford) and David Wells (St Neots East) did not attend a town council meeting on May 19 and officials realised the pair had not signed Acceptance of Office declarations.

After taking advice from democratic services at Huntingdon District Council, nominations for the vacancies were opened a few days later and as other candidates have now put their names forward to stand for office, the council is oblidge to hold an election.

Town mayor, and chairman of the town council, Councillor James Corley, said he was surprised and disappointed to hear the news.

“The problem is that it will be council tax payers footing the bill. It is disappointing that we have to hold a by-election as it will interfere with the smooth-running of the town council and the proper representation of people in the constituencies. The money and time involved in this will be considerable.”

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Mr Wells told The Hunts Post he was on holiday and had notified the council he would not be at the meeting and Mr Harty was unwilling to discuss the matter.