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New member out as council reverses vote.

Byline: STEVE BAGNALL Daily Post Reporter A COMMUNITY council has reversed a decision to co-opt a councillor which is being investigated by the police.

David Hough was co-opted onto Hawarden Community Council to serve the Ewloe ward following a meeting by councillors on June 12.

But four community councillors, Emma Preece, Daniel Preece, Gillian Brockley and Alan Diskin, submitted a motion to throw the decision out.

They had claimed Mr Hough's application was submitted after a set deadline.

It was also claimed initial advice from Flintshire council's monitoring officer Gareth Owens to "on balance" reject the application by Mr Hough, was not fully shared with members when they initially made their decision.

A Hawarden Community Council spokeswoman yesterday confirmed they had "rescinded their decision to will be an election for that post, costing PS3,000. There has also been a resignation from the community council leaving two vacant positions in total.

North Wales Police have confirmed they are investigating an allegation of electoral fraud, which is ongoing.

Cllr Brockley said: "The original decision, which should not have gone ahead, was rescinded last night which I believe was the right thing to do and I am pleased at the outcome.

"As there is a police investigation I do not want to comment further."

Cllr Emma Preece said: "I feel that having to spend PS3,000 on an unwarranted election is a frivolous act and a serious misuse of public money. The councillors who voted against the only valid candidate could not and would not give any valid reasons not to."

Cllr Dan Preece added: "It is inexcusable to squander PS3,000 on an election when we had a perfect candidate for cooption."

If no candidates come forward, then it will be back to coopting again - where a person is appointed following a vote by existing council members and not an electoral public vote.

An email to the community council by Mr Owens said: "At the time my advice was that on balance the late application should be rejected because it should be clear that one needs to deliver an application to the council when its office is open.

"It subsequently transpired that the late application was not delivered on the 2nd at all.

"Had I known that, then my unequivocal advice would have been to reject the application because it was late."

The Daily Post has approached Mr Hough for a comment.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jul 12, 2017
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