Cllr Pat Scott has been elected in the By-Election for Ash Wharf
Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has confirmed that local resident Patricia (Pat) Scott has been elected in the By-Election for Ash Wharf Ward as an independent candidate. If the election had been contested, it would have been held on Thursday 10 February 2022. However, as it was uncontested Pat Scott has now been duly elected as a member of Ash Parish Council (APC) for Ash Wharf.
Cllr Pat Scott told Ash Parish News that “I firmly believe there really should not be Party Politics at Parish Council” and that “as time elapsed I became increasingly more convinced that there is no place (or need) for Party Politics at Parish Council level. I know many feel exactly as I do. What goes on at Westminster has nothing to do with day-to-day issues that all Parish Councillors should be dealing with”
Ash Parish News asked Cllr Nigel Manning, chairman of the Ash conservative association why no candidate was put forward from the conservative party. He said that “prior to the election being called I made it known that the conservatives would not be standing a candidate for this By-Election. Instead, a co-option would be the most economic way to replace the APC member of Ash Wharf ahead of the scheduled elections in 2023. As a member of the Liberal Democrats party, I contacted Cllr Carla Morson and proposed that she may be able to suggest a candidate, which the conservatives would not contest. At a time of tighter budgets, I am disappointed that a By-Election was triggered, by Cllr Morson and Cllr Pat Scott amount others, instead of co-option and that now APC must pay Guildford Borough Council election costs which could have been avoided”.
Whilst Ash Parish Council will not need to fund the full cost of a contested By-Election, there are associated fees in the event of an uncontested election which is understood to be in the region of £1000.
Who pays for By-Elections?
The cost of holding an election is met by the Council holding the vacancy. In this case Ash Parish Council. That council uses the funds it receives via the Precept (Council Tax). The Precept is a tax that Parish Council’s charge their local electors/residents to meet their budget requirements. Parish Councils do not receive any direct funding from central government and rely on their Precept plus any other income they generate from services or facilities they provide.
The last contested By-Election is reported to have cost around £5,500 which covered the hire of polling stations, cleaning, polling day staff, count costs, production and posting of poll cards, the printing of ballot papers, and return postal vote costs.