Villagers off to the polls

AN election to vote in three new Selston parish councillors was due to take place today after three people who put themselves forward earlier in the year were unable to take up their duties.

The poll, which will elect new councillors to the Selston ward of Selston Parish Council, will cost the authority around £7,500.

The vacancies arose after three Liberal Democrat councillors - Austin Rathe, Fiona Asbury and Scott Asbury - failed to show up to meetings and never signed the Declaration of Office.

They had put themselves forward for the roles in May and were co-opted on to the council when 10 people were nominated for the 10 places in the Selston ward.

According to the parish council, apologies were then received from two of the candidates that due to changes in their circumstances they were unable to take up their positions on the council.

The three vacancies were advertised in the parish and a notice requesting an election – signed by 10 electors – was received.

As more than three candidates have been nominated to stand and there are only three vacancies, the election had to go ahead.

But Cllr Gail Turner, an Independent councillor on the parish council, has hit out at the Liberal Democrats for forcing the council to spend thousands of pounds of public money on something she says should not have been necessary.

She said: “We have to spend thousands of pounds, and they have caused us to spend thousands of pounds, because they have no interest in Selston and didn’t bother coming.

But Cllr Jason Zadrozny, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Nottinghamshire, said the three councillors had good reasons for not taking up their duties and they considered it the best thing to do given new circumstances.

Austin Rathe has now moved to London, while Fiona and Scott Asbury have an illness in the family.

“There’s no sort of political upset of malice - it’s all personal reasons that came together at the same time,” he said.