Three Local elections are being held next Thursday May 5.
One of these is to elect 11 parish councillors to serve on Pateley Bridge Town Council for the next four years.
In my last message I pointed out that for the previous occasion in 2012 there were insufficient candidates so no election took place and the Town Council had to co-opt candidates to make up the full complement of 11.
This was very disappointing for the council and undemocratic, so I made an appeal for more candidates to be forthcoming this time.
I remarked that there are very many folk in this area who are community minded and undertake valuable voluntary work so hopefully some would come forward to undertake a turn on the Town Council.
Both of these appeals were successful – but only just.
Ten of the present councillors are seeking re-election and two new candidates have applied.
So, we are going to have an election to choose 11 councillors from a total of 12 candidates.
The chosen councillors will have a clear democratic mandate to represent our community.
Electors can vote for up to 11 candidates of their choice but can vote for fewer if they so wish.
Pateley Bridge Town Council is totally non-political so councillors simply represent themselves to do their best for the parish.
The candidates are - D Brackley, Harewell Close, Glasshouses; T Brown, Millfield Street, Pateley Bridge; J Critchley, Cliff View Terrace, Glasshouses; C Hawkesworth, Red Brae, Bewerley; S Hesselden, Bridge House, Wilsill; M Holt, Albert Terrace, Glasshouses; H Jefferson, King Street, Pateley Bridge; J Leggett, Heathfield, Pateley Bridge; S Lumley, Bewerley, Pateley Bridge; N Scott, Millfield Street, Pateley Bridge; C Skaife, High Street, Pateley Bridge; I Skaife, High Street, Pateley Bridge.
A second election will be to vote for the district councillor to represent the Pateley Bridge Ward on Harrogate Borough Council.
There are four candidates and only one can be voted for. They are - S Beer, Pateley Bridge, Independent; D Brackley, Glasshouses, Labour; Ms G Charters, Knaresborough, Green; S Lumley, Bewerley, Conservative.
The third election will be for the Police Commissioner and here again there are four candidates for which one can be voted for.
These are: J Blanchard, York, Liberal Democrat; M Pannet, Hambleton, Independent; Ms J Mulligan, Skipton, Conservative; S Howley, Selby, Labour.
Polling Stations will be open from 7am to 10pm where you will be given three separate voting forms to complete.
I urge all electors to use their democratic rights and vote. Otherwise you will hardly be able to complain if you do not get the candidates of your choice to represent you.
A related issue is the forthcoming Annual Assembly to be held in the Council Chamber on Tuesday May 3 at 7-15pm.
While parishioners are entitled, and indeed welcome, to attend any meeting of the Town Council, the Annual Assembly is different in that it is specifically intended for parishioners who wish to raise issues, make comments and suggestions or indeed criticisms of the Town Council, so if you have anything to say do come along – you will be assured of an opportunity to speak and an interested audience.
The Mayor will open the meeting with a review of the past year and this will be followed by the open forum, so do come along and give us the benefit of your views. The whole meeting is usually over in about one hour.