MEMBERS of Studley parish council have discovered democracy comes with a price tag of nearly £3,000.
That’s how much it will have to stump up after a group of ten residents called for an election following the resignation of Councillor Karen Somner Brown last month due to ill health.
In normal circumstances the vacancy would be advertised and councillors would have interviewed the candidates and the successful applicant chosen.
They would then stand for re-election before the people next time an official parish poll was held.
However if residents call for an election – which is their democratic right – one must be held and on Tuesday evening members of the parish council were told how much the one-off poll would cost:
£900 for polling cards, £1,000 for postal votes, £300 for ballot papers, £400 for staff, £150 for rent of a room and £100 for a returning officer.
“As of Thursday last week we had four or five people who had expressed an interest in a position on the parish council,” said chairman Coun Paul Beaman.
“Now ten residents have called for an election, which is their right, but what it does is leave us with a bill for nearly £3,000.
“Hopefully those who had shown an interest will put their names forward and I would urge them to please send in their applications as soon as possible.”
The election will be held in the the Studley South area, roughly from the village hall and bordered by Bromsgrove Road and only those in that area will be eligible to vote.
Candidates must either live in or within three miles of the village or work in the village.
Applications to stand must be in by July 28, statements in favour of candidates by July 31 with polling day scheduled for Thursday, August 24.