VOTING for new councillors will only take place for a handful of South East Cornwall’s 41 town and parish councils next month – as not enough candidates have stepped forward to lead to contested elections.
One of the places going to the polls is Maker-with-Rame. Residents will be asked to choose between the 18 people hoping to gain one of 11 seats available on the parish council, which serves Kingsand, Cawsand, Maker, Rame and Cremyll.
A new group of eight candidates – INFORM (Independents for Rame and Maker) – has formed and is registered with the electoral commission. They say they are focused on encouraging open, transparent and inclusive decision-making in the local area.
On social media the group highlights clear explanations of what local politics is for and how it works, and they’re encouraging local people to participate – in the first instance, by making sure they’re registered to vote in the local elections which will happen on Thursday, May 6.
Meanwhile in St Cleer, there are 16 candidates standing for 13 seats on the council: prospective councillors include nine of the ten sitting members of the council, and seven new faces.
And in Saltash, there are nine candidates standing for just four seats in the Trematon ward, but in Essa and Tamar, there’s a shortfall, with five candidates coming forward for the six seats available in each of the two wards.
Elections will also be contested in the following places: St John, where there are eight candidates standing for six seats; Pillaton, where there are eight candidates standing for siz seats; the Calstock ward of Calstock Parish Council, where there are four cadidates for three seats; and in the Bethany ward of St Germans, where three candidates are vying for two seats.
In towns and villages in the rest of South East Cornwall, election fever will not be running so high. Eight parish councils are fielding the same number of candidates as there are seats, meaning that prospective members will be elected by default.
And in the remaining councils, including in Liskeard, Callington and Looe, there will be empty seats after May 6, meaning that new councillors could be co-opted by existing members (brought into the council without advertising the vacancy).
So long as a council has a ‘quorum’ (it has either a third of its total number of councillors, or three councillors, whichever is greater) then it can continue to operate and make decisions.
* A version of this article published in the current print edition of The Cornish Times wrongly stated that contested elections would be taking place in three parishes in South East Cornwall. We apologise for the error *