Candidates revealed in election for beleaguered Northamptonshire parish council after resignations

Elections will be held to re-appoint nine members to Spratton Parish Council following a month of resignations.
Elections will be held to re-appoint nine members to Spratton Parish Council following a month of resignations.

The 10 candidates fighting for election on a village parish council hit by mass resignations has been revealed.

Nine members of Spratton Parish Council, as well as the parish clerk, resigned over what appeared to have been a disagreement over the way the neighbourhood plan was drawn up.

Currently, only one councillor, Paul Vellam, remains on the authority.

The list includes a number of councillors who resigned, as well as some new names.

The candidates are Graham Bandy, Bill Blowfield, Craig Chivers, Julian Gaywood, Janice Holmes, John Hunt, Harry Mallinder, Janine Spence, Alexander Taylor and Jay Tindale.

A letter posted on the noticeboard in Spratton earlier this month, and signed by former councillors Bill Blowfield, John Hunt, Ruaraidh McDonald-Walker, Mark Pacey and Jay Tindale, gave reasons for the split.

It said: “Owing to a small minority who have, since the early stages of the drafting of the neighbourhood plan, consistently and without let-up made unfounded allegation against the parish council and individuals in it, we have decided enough is enough.”

The Spratton neighbourhood plan has been drawn up over the past three years and was meant to earmark suitable land for the village to expand by 35 homes.

It is understood there has been a long-running dispute over which parcel of land should be used, and in turn which landowners would potentially profit from a housing development.

The poll will take place on Thursday October 22.

Daventry District Council has exercised special powers to enable a by-election to be held for Spratton Parish Council.

Speaking previously, chief executive Ian Vincent said: “This is a unique situation and we have taken these steps as the parish council is currently not a quorate and, therefore, unable to meet or conduct its normal business.

“We will provide residents with further details on the by-election arrangements as and when they are confirmed.”

“As the parish council is no longer “quorate” it does not does not have the necessary number of members to enable it to “conduct normal business or convene meetings,” he said.