DCSIMG

Call to cover by-election cost

Coun Paul Galley (below) is concerned about the �9,000 cost of a by-election after Coun John Boughton (bottom) has had to step down due to work commitments.

Coun Paul Galley (below) is concerned about the �9,000 cost of a by-election after Coun John Boughton (bottom) has had to step down due to work commitments.

A councillor has suggested representatives who resign in mid-term could pay for the resulting by-election.

Coun Paul Galley’s call comes after the resignation of Layton councillor John Boughton.

The Labour member cited work commitments as his reason for stepping down from Blackpool Council.

Writing on his online ‘blog’, Coun Galley said: “I don’t know the cost of a by-election but when one takes into account staff time, the hire of polling booths, the printing of thousands of voting slips it’s not cheap.

“A better alternative, especially in a town where we have two councillors per ward, is to allow the councillor who is busy with work commitments to attend one meeting every six months and let the other councillor take up the slack.

“Failing that, make the councillor pay for the cost of a by election if they are standing down for non-health related reasons.

“As for John I wish him every success in his life and career.”

The council said the cost of a by-election in the resort can reach £9,000.

Speaking to The Gazette Coun Galley, a Conservative representative for Anchorsholme, added: “My blog wasn’t really about John at all.

“A lot of councillors, myself included, have day jobs and it’s hard work.

“Before anyone stands for council elections they should be made aware of the obligation that’s upon them.

“It’s a very big commitment for your life and your time.

“We should, in future, help people interested in standing prepare for what’s expected.

“If somebody’s poorly that’s a totally different situation.”

Mr Boughton was unavailable for comment.

A date has not yet been set for the by-election in Layton ward.

No one from Blackpool Council was prepared to comment on Coun Galley’s views.

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