19 November 2009

One small step...........

What: Full Meeting of South Somerset District Council
Where: Council Offices, Brympton Road, Yeovil
When: 07:40pm 19hth November 2009

Item 6. Items for discussion
Appointment of temporary councillors (to Somerton Town Council)
Ian Clark (District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer):

"This (the appointment of temporary councillors) is one part of a number of things that we are doing to help Somerton at the moment: supporting the Clerk; the remaining Town Councillors; putting on an event to encourage people to stand for election and, post election, putting on another event to train (new councillors) as quickly as we can particularly in relation to code of conduct and finance matters so that they are able to set a Precept."

The Leader of the Council, Tim Carroll:
"I think that the background is set out and what I would say is really what I said at the last Joint Area North Committee. Somerton as a community, as a town council, is going through a difficult time at the moment and they've looked to us for help and we are supplying that help. Not simply by the appointment of 6 councillors to keep the Town Council functioning in the interim up to the election on the 7th January but, as Ian has intimated, in many other ways as well. We will continue that support. Somerton is one of our larger towns in terms of looking across the market towns. They, if you like, have turned to us at this particular time. It was open to other Local Authorities to assist as well, but we have taken it upon ourselves to respond to their request. We hope, Chairman, that, all things being well, by the 7th January we should have a full Town Council again. It doesn't end there for us because we have promised support after that date, to bed-in and, if you like, help train up the new councillors who may end up on the council. It is an unfortunate occurrence - it has caused a certain amount of consternation within that community at the moment. There are some contentious issues there but I've made, as leader of this Council, an undertaking (that) we will give what help and support they need to get them through this particular time."

Tim Carroll went on to say:
"It is very much a stop-gap solution to keep the Council functioning. As I said, its a fairly limited period, 6 weeks, but it has to be done so I'm fairly confident we can see them through this particular period and, quite obviously, we hope for the best outcome. We hope for a decent turn-out at the election. We hope for a full sheet of candidates and to that end, as Ian has said, we are holding an evening for potential candidates to come along and learn what its about to be a town councillors so we are encouraging everybody wherever we can."

07:45pm The proposal for the election of six temporary councillors was proposed, seconded and passed. The councillors are: Mrs Sue Steele; Mr John Calvert; Mr Tim Carroll; Mrs Jo Roundell Greene; Mr Patrick Palmer and Mr Rupert Cox.

Somerton now has a functional Council which can enact the basic work of the Council until the election on January 7th 2010