On Thursday 13th March there will be a local by-election for Snodland Town Council for the first time in over 20 years! This is because for as long as anyone can remember, whenever a Town Councillor resigned, a replacement councillor has been “co-opted”. Such a system was fast, efficient and economical.
When Labour were in control of the Town Council, Conservatives always put party politics aside and agreed to co-opt whichever applicant was best qualified, even if this meant supporting someone from another political party.
However following the recent resignation of a Labour Councillor, and despite other members of the Council wishing to co-opt a suitable replacement, a Labour activist wrote formally to the Borough Council demanding a by-election - the total cost of which will be over £3000.
Every penny of this will by paid for by Snodland residents and would have been completely unnecessary if previous practices had been adopted. This money would undoubtedly have be better spent on cleaning up litter or impoving local services and community facilities.
Of course this is not the first time residents have had to pay for a poll or indeed the first time I have written about Labour wasting Snodland residents' money. Just before Christmas Labour organised a Town Poll on Parking Charges. 93% of residents did not bother to vote but it still cost the Town Council £2000. Again – money that would be better spent on loal services.
The Town Council is not the place for Party Politics. It should just be about doing what is right for Snodland and best for local people. Unfortunately it appears not everyone agrees.