Return to the polls after 'Czech councillor' criticism

A Norfolk council is set to move several of its polling stations, despite fears over the continual e

Boradland to return to polls to reaplce two councillors who have resigned from the council Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

A controversial councillor who claimed an allowance despite being out of the country for 18 months is among those set to be replaced later this month.

Two vacancies need to be filled when Broadland residents return to polling stations on Tuesday, September 28.

Voters have been asked to replace Brundall Tory councillor, Rebecca Grattan, who stepped down at the end of July, nearly 18 months after she moved to Prague to take up a job with cyber security firm, Avast.

In August, Conservative Samuel Walker then stood down from his role representing Old Catton and Sprowston, saying he had accepted a job elsewhere in the country.

Samuel Walker

Samuel Walker has stepped down as Broadland district councillor for Old Catton and Sprowston - Credit: Broadland District Council

The former councillors had been taking part, virtually, in council meetings, which were being held online, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Walker and Ms Grattan were both present for seven of 11 full council meetings between February and July this year.

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But another councillor - Grant Nurden - had been asked to stand in for Mr Grattan at meetings of Brundall Parish Council.

Ms Grattan had continued to receive the £4,962 a year basic allowance for her role on the council, which she has now promised to pay back.

In a statement, Ms Grattan said she had been almost exclusively based in Czechia with very limited opportunity for return to the UK, since the pandemic struck.

Rebecca Grattan

Rebecca Grattan, who has resigned as Broadland district councillor for Brundall, almost a year and a half after moving to Prague. - Credit: Avast

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She added: "Several times over the past months, it has appeared hopeful that the clinical and travel situation might improve. However, travel remains very unpredictable, and consequently, I am unlikely to be regularly in the UK for some months.

"Therefore, I reluctantly reached the decision that I would need to resign."

The Brundall seat has drawn significant interest, with the major parties standing multiple candidates.

Polling will take place from 7am to 10m on September 28.

Emergency proxy votes must be submitted before 5pm on polling day.

Results will be declared on Wednesday, September 29, with counting starting at 10am.

Old Catton and Sprowston candidates

Martin Booth, Lab

Ian Chapman, Green

John Chettleburgh, Lib Dems

Richard Potter, Cons 

Brundall candidates

Tim Catmull, Cons 

Jan Davis, Greens

Alice Myfanwy Free, Lab

Eleanor Laming, Greens

Eleanor Mason, Lib Dems

Michael Phelps, Cons

Victor Scrivens, Lib Dems

Glenn Springett, Lab

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