It has been brought to my attention that there is a misconception about whether Willand Parish Council consists of elected members, and I am writing as Willand Parish Clerk to confirm that the following is the truth.
Willand Parish Council is set up to have 11 Councillors.
In May 2019 the local elections were held and ten people put their names forward to stand for the Parish Council.
Because there were less candidates than the number of councillors required these 10 were elected unopposed. They are elected members.
The Parish Council was then able to co-opt someone to fill the existing vacancy bringing the Council up to full strength.
In the year since the last election two councillors have resigned and now the parish council is in the position of needing to fill two casual vacancies. This means that of the current council members 8 are elected and one is co-opted.
Of the two vacancies one can be filled by co-option now as the vacancy process started prior to the lockdown period, the other was received on 28 May therefore a notice of vacancy was posted on 6 June displayed in the village and on the website. If 10 electors write to request an election to fill this post within 14 working days of the notice being posted then under the Coronavirus Act 2020 an election will be held in May 2021.
If there are not 10 requests received then the Parish Council will be able to co-opt a new Councillor to serve until the next full election is held – due 2023.
Despite numerous efforts at advertising vacancies during the 5 years I have been the Clerk which included posters, leafletting every house in the village, articles in the magazine, on the website and Facebook it remains difficult to recruit people to volunteer to serve their community.
Willand Parish Clerk