Hertsmere expected to co-opt councillors onto South Mimms Parish as council frozen

PUBLISHED: 16:19 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21 26 August 2020

South Mimms Parish Council meetings take place in the village hall. Picture: Google Street View.

South Mimms Parish Council meetings take place in the village hall. Picture: Google Street View.

Archant

After four South Mimms Parish councillors resigned following personal attacks, Hertsmere borough is expected to step in and appoint people to the council until by-elections can be held.

There are now a total of four vacancies at South Mimms Parish Council, meaning that the council no longer has the minimum number needed to conduct business.

Paula Arnold and Neil Pumfrey both officially quit their roles as South Mimms Parish councillors last week with Paul Binstead also doing so earlier in the month and Mark Edwards stepping down in April.

Currently only Cllr Yvonne Harverson remains on the council until such time as she is able to hand in her resignation.

Ms Arnold, Mr Pumfrey, Mr Binstead and Cllr Harverson all announced earlier this month that they would be stepping down as the abuse on social media and at meetings got to the point where they felt there was no choice but to resign.

In the letter to the clerk, Natalie Gettings, the four councillors added: “It has become increasingly clear that there are elements in the village who do not think that we are doing a good job of representing them and their views and who have a wholly negative view of the parish council.”

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As four members have now resigned there is no longer a minimum number on the parish council, known as a quorum, to be able to conduct their usual business.

Under Section 91 of the Local Government Act 1972, Hertsmere Borough Council has the power by order to appoint persons to the existing vacancies in order to achieve a quorum until such time as replacement parish councillors are elected and take up office. The borough council will receive a report at its full council meeting on September 16, recommending suitable appointments.

Meanwhile, in order to trigger a by-election, a written request from 10 electors in the parish must be received by Thursday, September 10 for the vacancies created by the departure of Ms Arnold and Mr Pumfrey.

Parish electors also have until Tuesday, September 8 to submit their signatures requesting a by-election to replace Mark Edwards.

A by-election has already been called to fill the vacancy left by Paul Binstead.

The full election notice is available to view on the borough council’s website www.hertsmere.gov.uk/electionnotices.

Any queries can be raised through the South Mimms parish council clerk here southmimmspc@gmail.com.


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