Broadland bosses to take action over Salhouse Parish Council
Archant © 2011
Council chiefs are set to take action to ensure a parish council which was ripped apart by resignations can continue to function.
Salhouse Parish Council is legally not allowed to meet or make decisions because it no longer has enough councillors following a mass resignation.
Seven members of the council resigned last month, with four of them linking their decision to quit to the actions of a newly elected member.
That member was Stephen Heard, chairman of the Stop Norwich Urbanisation (SNUB) campaign group, who picked up 238 votes to defeat Lynn Fielder, who received 199 votes, in a by-election.
Chairman Robert Cooper, vice-chairman Kerry Robbins, Peter Jefford, Paul Peck, Stephen Piper, Jenny Rose and Susan Simpson resigned, with Mr Cooper, Mr Piper, Mrs Rose and Mrs Simpson issuing a joint statement explaining their “difficult” decision was prompted by SNUB’s actions to secure support from Salhouse Parish Council for its legal challenge against the Joint Core Strategy, among other reasons.
It means that, with Salhouse Parish Council left with just three members – Mr Heard, Colin McCormick and Nick Taylor, it is not quorate, so is not eligible to meet or make decisions.
But, at a meeting next week, members of Broadland District Council will be asked to make an order under the Local Government Act so the district council can appoint members on a temporary basis so the parish council can continue to function.
Martin Thrower, head of democratic services and monitoring officer, says in the report which will come before councillors on Tuesday that: “These persons would act only for as long as may be necessary until an election can be held.
“It is open to the council to decide the person(s) to be appointed and such appointments are not restricted to elected members.”
Officers will also be recommended to delegate authority to chief executive Phil Kirby to “avoid any delay in resolving situations where parish councils become inquorate”.
Meanwhile, SNUB will be attempting to get another of their number onto the parish council at a separate by-election later this month.
SNUB’s Richard Williams will be up against Christopher Dady in that by-election on Thursday, September 27, which was triggered by the July resignation of parish councillor David Hastings.
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