Labour Call Council Election, Then Fail To Put Up Candidate – Costing Taxpayers More Than £2,200

Labour Party members have been accused of wasting time and public money after calling a Gelligaer Community Council election – and then not fielding a candidate.

Labour member Rhiannon Stone stepped down as the councillor for Tir-y-berth before Christmas –  after winning the seat at last May’s election  –  and Labour called for an election to replace her.

But when nominations closed last week only one candidate had put their name forward – Plaid Cymru’s Adrienne Wood, who was automatically elected. Plaid holds 12 of the 13 seats on the authority with a vacancy in Hengoed ward due to be filled by co-option.

Councillor Judith Pritchard, who is a member of both Caerphilly County Borough Council and Gelligaer Community Council, said: “I’m annoyed that Labour should call for an election and then not even bother to put a candidate up. It is the second time in under two years this has happened after the Ystrad Mynach by-election debacle in May 2021. Can I suggest that in future Labour make sure they have a candidate signed up to stand before calling an election?

“Caerphilly Council staff has put up the notice of an election, printed polling cards in anticipation of an election and arranged for the ballot papers to be printed once nominations closed.

“All the costs will be passed onto Gelligaer Community Council area to pick up the bill.  The failed Ystrad Mynach by-election cost the authority £2,229 and the bill will be even higher this time. And as a party, we’ve also had the unnecessary cost of producing a candidate leaflet ready for the election.

“The community council could have co-opted a community-spirited individual without the waste of more than £2,200 of the public’s money by Labour. The local Labour Party should really come forward and offer to pay the bill.”

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