Tuesday, May 29, 2007

'Winner' may have to wait three months after being declared 'loser'...

The candidate who was declared a 'loser' despite winning more votes than the 'winner' in district council elections earlier this month has lodged a petition at the High Court in London to get the result overturned.

According to today's Free Press, Angela Harrison has laid out £2,000 in fees and will have to wait up to three months before she can become a councillor - despite an official recount showing that the original declaration was a mistake when almost 1,500 ballot papers were 'mislaid'.

Mrs Harrison was originally declared in fourth place with 337 votes in the new Crowland and Deeping St Nicholas seat, losing out to fellow Conservative Jim Astill by just one vote.

A later recount showed had actually beaten Mr Astill by seven votes, but law states that the result as declared by the Returning Officer stands - even when proved to be wrong - unless it is overturned by the High Court.

Mr Astill has since resigned as a councillor and Mrs Harrison has taken legal advice and lodged a petition through her solicitors.

In the meantime, she is missing important induction training for new councillors - and the people of Crowland and Deeping St Nicholas are short of a councillor until the mess is resolved.

I still don't understand why Mrs Harrison can't simply be co-opted on to the Council as a friend suggested here last week.

It would certainly save the expense and stress of a High Court case and get a speedier conclusion than waiting for a court date.

And having taken a High Court action myself just a few months ago, I can testify to the fact that it is extremely stressful, even when you are on the winning side!

No comments: