Resignation could cost council £6.5k for an election

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Horncastle Town Council is hoping to avoid a costly election after a surprise resignation.

Coun David Stott has stepped down because he will be moving out of the area.

Town clerk Amanda Bushell said Coun Stott did not think it was fair if he continued to vote on local issues - if he isn’t living in the town.

It is understood several people have expressed an interest in the vacancy.

Even if there is more than one candidate, it would still take a letter - signed by at least 10 residents and sent to East Lindsey District Council - to trigger an election which would cost the council around £6,500.

That is what happened when the last vacancy occurred and the fact the council had to pay £6,500 has led to a series of verbal clashes at recent meetings.

Elections were previously the responsibility of district councils but a change in regulations means the onus is now on town and parish councils.

Mrs Bushell admitted Coun Stott’s resignation was a blow.

She added: “He hasn’t been a councillor for long but he has worked very hard for the town .”

Coun Stott, a solicitor, served on the planning committee and was also leading efforts to secure a site and funding for a new skate park and children’s recreation ground.

Meanwhile, the town council met last night (Tuesday) to elect a new chairman/mayor for the coming years.

Sources suggested current chairman and mayor, Coun Brian Burbidge, will continue in the role.

Coun David Roark is the current vice-chairman but Mrs Bushell confirmed there is no standing order stating a deputy automatically steps up.

Coun Burbidge said he could not comment before the meeting.

Councillors were expected to evoke a rule which prevents anyone from serving as a committee chairman for more than three years.