Yesterday maltbyblogger found out that there is a ‘casual vacancy’ for a councillor on Maltby Town Council. This information wasn’t from the website – as we know there is little of importance on MTC’s website and even the things that are on it are usually out of date – but from one of the 8 or 10 noticeboards that are around the town. An email to MTC got no response, no one answered the phone at the office and a call to Cllr Maggie Godfrey only ascertained that she is not on Maltby Town Council so didn’t know anything about it. So it was fortunate that the lady at the electoral dept at RMBC was efficient enough to send out the details immediately. Especially as the closing date for asking for an election is 25th January.
As Maltby Town Council know perfectly well, and many of the electorate understandably do not, when there is a vacancy on the council, the public have until a certain date to request an election. If at least 10 people from the ward where the vacancy is (in this case Maltby North Ward) request an election, in writing, then an election must go ahead. If the request is not made the council may – and will – co opt someone of their own choice onto the council.
This has happened a number of times in the past and the person that is co opted has not always been one that the public would have chosen – HAD THEY KNOWN ABOUT THE SITUATION.
A cynic might suggest that Maltby Town Council advertise such things by using the bare minimum (legal) of actions, so that the public are not fully informed of the situation. In this way the current councillors could co opt on whoever they like, and its more than likely to be either a friend or someone they think they can manipulate to their way of thinking. In fact I suggest that … and I am certainly not cynical.
Here is a recent post from a social network site on the MTC vacancy –
”I am now thinking of going to be a Maltby Town Councilor now that a position has come available .There is no public votes its a COP on to the council and it has got to be half of the council that vote for you so we will give it a go and see what the block voters will do ”
Is there any hope for Maltby and it’s council ?
If you live in the North Ward of Maltby and care just the smallest bit about the decisions that are made on our behalf by this self serving council, please ask for an election. If we don’t ask for an election, then we deserve anything Maltby Town Council decides to dish out to us.
‘An election to fill the vacancy will be held if, no later than 25 January 2013, notice in writing of a request for an election is given to Mrs J Collins, Director of Legal and Democratic Services, RMBC, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham S60 1AE by ten electors of the North Ward of the Parish of Maltby.’