No plans to call by-election for council seat of much-missed Lynne Sparks
PUBLISHED: 08:48 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 16 February 2018
None of the major parties plan to force a by-election to contest the late Lynne Sparks' council seat, according to the group leaders for Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
As procedure requires, Welwyn Hatfield Council has posted a notice of the vacancy for Hatfield Villages, following the tragic and unexpected death of the much-loved councillor and mayor.
When council seats are unexpectedly vacated outside of the normal election timetable, any member of the public wishing to contest the seat can call for a by-election.
A spokesperson for the council said: “If there is no call for a by-election then the vacancy will be filled at the next ordinary election on May 3.”
Councillor Sparks was a member of the Conservative party.
Both opposing parties plan to wait until May 3 to consider contesting the seat.
Councillor Kieran Thorpe, Labour group leader, said: “It seems wrong that a by-election is even a possibility given the timescale and tragic circumstances.
“I hope it doesn’t happen and certainly won’t be called for by Welwyn Hatfield Labour Party.
“Elections will be taking place on May 3 and I am sure these will be democratically contested by all parties as normal.”
Councillor Malcolm Cowan, local leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It would be extraordinarily unseemly to rush to replace Lynne, which is impossible anyway, when the normal election will take place in May.”
A book of condolences can be signed in the reception of the council offices in Campus East, Welwyn Garden City; at Hatfield Housing Office, White Lion House; or at www.welhat.gov.uk/condolence