Call For Candidates In By-Election 3rd May — Houghton Hall

A vacancy exists for a seat on the Houghton Regis Town Council in Houghton Hall ward. If more than one candidate is declared the contest will take place on 3rd May 2017. The official Notice of Election was dated today, 27th March 2018.

Any nominations must be completed and delivered by 4pm Friday 6th April 2018.

Postal vote applications or cancellations need to be in by 5pm on 18th April 2018.

Proxy vote applications need to be in by 5pm on 25th April 2018.

The address for all correspondence is Electoral Registration Officer, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ.

The cost of the election to the public purse has been put at £2000 per polling station (estimated figures provided by the Returning Officer at Central Beds Council). Houghton Hall normally has 5 polling stations. In by-elections, some polling stations may be consolidated to reduce costs. At last night's Town Council meeting, it was announced by the Town Clerk that two polling stations normally used would be unavailable — the Memorial Hall and All Saints School —  but it had been suggested that Houghton Regis Primary School could double up with the cost of a Portakabin hire at around £1500 being bourne by the Town Council. To save on costs, councillors voted not to pay out an estimated £1900 on polling cards.

Houghton Hall ward sends 6 out of 14 of the town's representatives to the Town Council. The ward covers roads in diverse places from Frogmore Road, through to Longbrooke, Woodlands Avenue, Manor Park, St Michaels Avenue, Plaiters Way, Farriers Way, Houghton Road, and Sewell Lane.

There are in the order of 6200 registered voters in Houghton Hall. At the last by-election here, in October 2016, just 583 votes were cast with a turnout of 9.57% (*).

The present five town councillors for Houghton Hall are:
Laura Ellaway, elected Liberal Democrat in 2015, switched to Independent in 2017.
Chris Slough elected Labour in 2015.
Sue Thorne elected Liberal Democrat in 2015.
Ken Wattingham elected Liberal Democrat in 2015.
Tim Welch elected Liberal Democrat in 2016, switched to Labour in 2017.

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The full notice is reproduced above. Please refer to the official notice and do not rely on the words in this article.