Cumbria

Silloth Town Council blunder could spark vote of no confidence

Silloth town lies on the west coast of Cumbria Image copyright Google
Image caption Silloth lies on the west coast of Cumbria

A vote of no confidence could be held after a councillor won a seat but lost it after her husband's name was read out by mistake.

Karen Groucott was voted on to Silloth Town Council in Cumbria in May but her husband, who also stood, was announced as the winning candidate.

The agreed solution was for Mr Groucott to resign and Mrs Groucott to be co-opted to fill the vacant seat.

But councillors co-opted a different candidate, sparking criticism.

The authority was advised by Allerdale Borough Council the erroneous declaration had to stand.

To change the result either a formal petition would have to be issued or the council could use the co-opting procedure, by which councillors can, in certain circumstances, make the choice themselves.

Will of the people

However, members then voted in another candidate, Paul Donald, even though he did not stand in May's election.

This has sparked an angry backlash. the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Although legal, the vote has been accused of ignoring the intention of residents who voted for Mrs Groucott.

Mr Donald has been approached for comment.

A public meeting has been called by six residents for 3 July.

It will discuss why some councillors did not vote to co-opt Mrs Groucott and look at holding a poll enabling a vote of no confidence in the town council.

A vote of no confidence would not be legally binding.

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