Misleading report in Chronicle
Date Added: 10/10/2014
The edition of the Biggleswade Chroncile published on Friday 10 October 2014 may give some residents a misleading picture of Sandy Town Council's position.
Co-option of new councillor
The process by which Sandy Town Council co-opted a member to fill a casual vacancy has been questioned by two members of the public and a report on page 9 of the Chronicle reports that "Sandy Town Council has accepted the process was not ideal."
Sandy Town Council wishes to state that it followed the correct statutory procedure for co-option of a member of the public to the office of councillor. A co-option is not an election and there was no "electoral process" to follow as the newspaper's headline suggests. Those who had put themselves forward for co-option had been asked to provide a written application for members of the council. These application forms contained personal information and were for the benefit of the councillors making the selection between applicants. All members had seen the applications and were able to make an informed choice based on the information contained therein. The statements were not made available to the public. The clerk did advise the council to consider making such applications available to the public in future but since that advice was given it has been superseded by advice from Bedfordshire Association of Town and Parish Councils (the relevant county association of NALC) that this is not recommended good practice and the applications should be seen by councillors only.
The council strongly refutes the allegations of unfairness made by the residents quoted in the article and stands by its position that it acted without bias and following correct procedures in this matter.