Fringe Box



No Votes To Be Cast In South Ash and Tongham By-Election

Published on: 8 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 9 Apr, 2013

ballot boxVoters in South Ash and Tongham will not be able to vote for a new councillor at the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) by-election on May 2nd because there is only one candidate, Paul Spooner, a Conservative.

No poll will be held and Mr Spooner will be automatically elected.

It is understood that the Liberal Democrats were unable to find anyone prepared to stand and the Labour Group at Millmead made a “strategic decision” not to contest the ward.

The council seat became available when Doug Richards a Conservative Councillor resigned last month. He was one of three councillors to resign requiring three by-elections to be held. For convenience and to reduce costs they have been timed to coincide with the County Council elections.

The Guildford Dragon News asked representatives of the three main parties the following questions:

  1. Why did your party not put up a candidate in this by-election? (obviously not for the Conservative party recipient)?
  2. What should voters do who do not wish to vote for the Conservative candidate?
  3. Is it not a bad thing for local democracy, that will encourage voter apathy, that the voters do not have a choice?
  4. What should be done to encourage more candidates to stand?

No response has been received from the Liberal Democrats. The other responses were:

Cllr Matt Furniss, a Conservative party spokesman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul Spooner as the new Councillor for Ash South & Tongham. He is well qualified to do the job and will being key skills to GBC.”

“We always encourage democratic competition. The lack of opposition shows the strong record and trust in Conservative run Guildford Borough Council to take the borough forward to face the challenges ahead.

Labour Group Leader, Angela Gunning commented: “Guildford Labour Party made a strategic decision not to contest this ward at short notice, but to concentrate on its County Council campaign.”

A full list of candidates in all three GBC by-elections on May 2nd can be viewed by clicking here.

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