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Councillor ‘extremely frustrated’ as ward seat remains empty

PUBLISHED: 16:22 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:13 17 February 2020

Breckland Councillor for the Boudica ward Stuart Terry. Photo: Emily Thomson

Breckland Councillor for the Boudica ward Stuart Terry. Photo: Emily Thomson

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A district councillor is “extremely frustrated” after a town council failed to elect a candidate for a seat which has been empty for almost a year.

Thetford Town Councillor Mark Robinson.Thetford Town Councillor Mark Robinson.

The Boudica ward, in Thetford, has been left with an empty council seat since the local elections took place in May last year.

With only two of the three positions filled, it was left to the town council to find a final councillor.

Stuart Terry represents the Boudica ward at Breckland District Council and put himself forward for the seat along with other candidates.

But after a series of failed internal elections, via a co-option process, no councillor has been elected.

Thetford town focus Thomas Paine and Kings House Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: EDP  EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434Thetford town focus Thomas Paine and Kings House Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: EDP EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434

Mr Terry is a district councillor for the ward, while Mark Robinson and David Hodgkinson represent it on Thetford Town Council.

Mr Terry said: "I'm feeling extremely frustrated that after two co-opting process' and a special town council meeting nothing has been decided.

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"With councillor Robinson becoming mayor in May it could well leave just one town councillor on Boudica.

"Regardless of our differences, there is one thing that unites us all and that is Thetford, elected representatives and council staff alike.

"I know, from having worked with some of them over the past few months that however much we may disagree at times, we are all here to do the best we can for the residents of Thetford to deliver the quality services they want, they need, and they rightly expect."

MORE: Calls for by-election after community left 'under-represented'

But Mr Robinson said that he has worked hard, along with Mr Hodgkinson, to make sure residents are not affected with a councillor missing.

Mr Robinson said: "I haven't failed to do my ward work in nine years and being mayor would not stop me doing it now.

"David and I have worked well together, and we have picked up the workload. We both live on the ward and people know where we are if they ever need us.

"But with regards to the co-option policy, yes it has dragged on. We will all be glad to get the matter resolved."

The current co-option system requires an absolute majority for a person to be elected to the council, but this could change as revisions to the voting process are being made.

Amendments are set to be discussed at a Personnel Committee on Friday, February 21, at 10am in Kings House.


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