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West Norfolk Council chiefs to review parish election charge proposals

West Norfolk Council's offices in Chapel Street, Lynn (2128551)
West Norfolk Council's offices in Chapel Street, Lynn (2128551)

Proposals to charge parish councils in West Norfolk for calling by-elections which are subsequently uncontested are set to be debated again next week.

The plan was first raised in a borough council report last month, but deferred for further discussion.

Now, after the idea was backed at a panel meeting earlier this month, members of the borough's ruling cabinet will re-consider the issue when they meet next Tuesday, May 29.

The borough council is legally required to arrange an election to fill a vacant parish council seat if 10 electors of the parish request one. Otherwise, a parish authority can co-opt a new member.

Borough officials say only 12 out of 102 parishes in West Norfolk had elections at the time of the last scheduled polls in 2015 and the proposal will extend existing charges for those polls to by-elections called during the term.

They believe the measure could save the borough up to £20,000 over a four-year term.

Papers published ahead of the cabinet meeting revealed officials had also stressed parishes would not be charged if they co-opted new members.

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