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Vacant seats on Burntwood Town Council to be filled by co-opting rather than by-election

No by-election will be held to fill vacant seats on Burntwood Town Council, it has been confirmed.

The Old Mining College Centre in Burntwood, home of Burntwood Town Council
The Old Mining College Centre in Burntwood, home of Burntwood Town Council

Highfield ward and the Summerfield and All Saints ward seats will instead be decided by a process of co-opting, which sees existing councillors select a replacement, after not enough residents requested a formal vote.

The seats had previously been held by husband and wife Conservative duo Brian and Norma Bacon.

Co-opting members onto the town council had become a controversial process in Burntwood in recent years.

Unwritten rules usually see the party which held the seat allowed to co-opt a new member from their own ranks.

But two years ago the Conservatives were accused of carrying out “a disgraceful action” when they put up Norma Bacon to fill the gap left by the resignation of a Labour councillor. She won the vote and went on to become council leader just weeks later.

That move led to Labour returning the favour and forcing a full by-election vote – which they won – when a Conservative member stood down.

Councillors will make a formal decision on who to co-opt into the current vacancies at a meeting on 28th November.

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