Local election? That will be £6,000 please

News. Photo: Shutterstock
News. Photo: Shutterstock

Town and parish councils across East Lindsey will face a hefty four-figure bill - if they have to hold a snap election.

Horncastle Town Council has been handed a bill for more than £6,000 to cover the cost of a local election held earlier this year.

The election followed the resignation of Phil Cantwell.

The exact figure (£6,168.47) was revealed at a town council meeting earlier this month.

Town clerk Amanda Bushell confirmed the money would come from council funds - the vast majority of which is raised from council tax payers.

The election was triggered after more than 10 residents wrote to East Lindsey District Council, calling for an election to be called.

At a meeting last week, several councillors were surprised by the amount.

The charge is levied by East Lindsey District Council who administer elections at a local level.

Council chairman Coun Brian Burbidge suggested the money could have been used for better purposes.

His deputy, Coun David Roark, said it was disappointing town resident Richard Barker - one of the people who wrote to ELDC calling for the election - was not at the meeting to justify his actions.

Mrs Bushell told councillors the bill would be reduced by £500 - if the town council reclaimed VAT.

However, she said that was proving problematic because the invoice was sent to ELDC - and did not include the town council name.

Previously, elections were paid for by ELDC- until a change in policy.

Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Bushell said the other town councils across the district would face the same outlay if they had to hold an election.

She said the extra cost could have an impact on precepts. Worryingly, there is nothing to prevent several elections being held in the same year.

Parish councils could face a similar financial headache, although it is understood the bill for a parish election would be around £1,500.