Rival Baildon Parish Council candidates in election row

First published in Aire Valley

A parish council election candidate has stormed into a row over the “considerable expense” of holding the by-election.

Graham Terry of Netherhall Road, Baildon , has hit out at Liberal Democrat rival Ian Lyons for failing to withdraw as a candidate for Baildon East in the parish council elections in October – a move which will cost the parish council about £8,000.

He and his other rival Jen Kilyon, of Bank Crest, had agreed to withdraw as candidates before the deadline of September 11, which would have meant the current parish council would vote to co-opt a new councillor. However, Mr Lyons refused and, because ten residents petitioned Bradford Council, the by-election was called.

A joint statement by Mr Terry and Mrs Kilyon reads: “We considered the cost implications of the election to the Baildon residents and agree that a co-option would be far and away the better approach for the selection process.

“After a short discussion, we agreed to a three-way mutual withdrawal from the process, but such agreement was not forthcoming from Mr Lyons who, after consultation with his political party, maintained that the election should stand.

“We appreciate that, in the interests of democracy, a public vote is the most desirable solution. However, with an organisation having limited funds trying to provide grants and donations to many local causes, we feel that the considerable expense of an election should have been avoided in order to maintain a flow of funds back into the community.”

Mr Lyons said he had “fought hard with his conscience” over the decision and admitted “seriously considering withdrawing.” But he said: “With less than 24 hours to meet the deadline and no definite position from the Labour candidate (Mrs Kilyon), I had to make a choice. So, I consulted with my colleagues and, more importantly, I consulted with residents themselves.

“In the end, the overwhelming response from an online poll, and residents themselves, was that parish council vacancies should be decided by election and not other councillors. The response from my colleagues was also in favour of a democratic vote.”

The cost of the election will be paid for by Bradford Council, meaning taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill.

Mr Lyons, of Cliffe Avenue, said: “Every election is expensive. If Councillors were more committed, instead of resigning constantly, this would never occur in the first place.”

The Baildon East seat is up for election following the resignation of Peter Haley. It is likely to be held on October 4.

Comments (10)

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3:01pm Mon 24 Sep 12

mannyb says...

It would be interesting to see the figures from this '...... overwhelming response from an online poll'!
It would be interesting to see the figures from this '...... overwhelming response from an online poll'! mannyb
  • Score: -1

3:25pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Paul Marfell says...

How can candidates withdrawing change things? Even with no candidates there will still be a vacancy and the Local Gov Act of 1972 says that because 10 or more people made the request it has to be filled by election. Just because some people, including me, think it not the best way to fill the vacancy does not stop the legal democratic process surely? I would have thought the only way round it would be for there to be only 1 candidate.

I am also surprised that Bradford Council will be paying. The agreement was that costs are passed to the parish council - perhaps Bradford, in the past, have not done this. For example most vacancies in Keighley, for a while, were filled by election because a group made sure 10 people signed the form but Bradford either did not (or were very slow to) pass the cost on.

There are more reasons than commitment for a councillor to resign so I am at a loss as to why Mr Lyons would suggest such a thing. At the moment I am unable to see the party point it is trying to score.
How can candidates withdrawing change things? Even with no candidates there will still be a vacancy and the Local Gov Act of 1972 says that because 10 or more people made the request it has to be filled by election. Just because some people, including me, think it not the best way to fill the vacancy does not stop the legal democratic process surely? I would have thought the only way round it would be for there to be only 1 candidate. I am also surprised that Bradford Council will be paying. The agreement was that costs are passed to the parish council - perhaps Bradford, in the past, have not done this. For example most vacancies in Keighley, for a while, were filled by election because a group made sure 10 people signed the form but Bradford either did not (or were very slow to) pass the cost on. There are more reasons than commitment for a councillor to resign so I am at a loss as to why Mr Lyons would suggest such a thing. At the moment I am unable to see the party point it is trying to score. Paul Marfell
  • Score: -1

9:56pm Mon 24 Sep 12

JohnnyBd says...

I find it bizarre that Ian Lyons is so desperate to become a councillor, ultimately at great cost to Baildon. £8k could be spent in a much better way, I imagine we could run a youth group using volunteers for a year with that money!

I am sorry to say that I was quite impressed during his council election with his commitment and hard work, I am afraid that I am now totally convinced he is in this to fulfil some sort of personal agenda. It is shameful that public money is being used to boost one mans ego. I certainly will not be voting liberal at the next council election. I would be interested to see the overwheming online poll, did 3 people vote yes and 1 vote no....therefore overwhelmed the poll? Can you vote on your own polls?

Mr Lyons....what can you add to the Parish Council if you are elected that is worth the £8k you are wasting to "try" and get elected. Since when did the Parish Council become political, so much so that you had to consult with colleagues when you made your decision to continue with the plan?
I find it bizarre that Ian Lyons is so desperate to become a councillor, ultimately at great cost to Baildon. £8k could be spent in a much better way, I imagine we could run a youth group using volunteers for a year with that money! I am sorry to say that I was quite impressed during his council election with his commitment and hard work, I am afraid that I am now totally convinced he is in this to fulfil some sort of personal agenda. It is shameful that public money is being used to boost one mans ego. I certainly will not be voting liberal at the next council election. I would be interested to see the overwheming online poll, did 3 people vote yes and 1 vote no....therefore overwhelmed the poll? Can you vote on your own polls? Mr Lyons....what can you add to the Parish Council if you are elected that is worth the £8k you are wasting to "try" and get elected. Since when did the Parish Council become political, so much so that you had to consult with colleagues when you made your decision to continue with the plan? JohnnyBd
  • Score: -1

12:30am Tue 25 Sep 12

mannyb says...

JohnnyBd wrote:
I find it bizarre that Ian Lyons is so desperate to become a councillor, ultimately at great cost to Baildon. £8k could be spent in a much better way, I imagine we could run a youth group using volunteers for a year with that money!

I am sorry to say that I was quite impressed during his council election with his commitment and hard work, I am afraid that I am now totally convinced he is in this to fulfil some sort of personal agenda. It is shameful that public money is being used to boost one mans ego. I certainly will not be voting liberal at the next council election. I would be interested to see the overwheming online poll, did 3 people vote yes and 1 vote no....therefore overwhelmed the poll? Can you vote on your own polls?

Mr Lyons....what can you add to the Parish Council if you are elected that is worth the £8k you are wasting to "try" and get elected. Since when did the Parish Council become political, so much so that you had to consult with colleagues when you made your decision to continue with the plan?
The online poll appears to have been removed from Ian Lyons Facebook page along with the link to this article - I wonder why!!!!
[quote][p][bold]JohnnyBd[/bold] wrote: I find it bizarre that Ian Lyons is so desperate to become a councillor, ultimately at great cost to Baildon. £8k could be spent in a much better way, I imagine we could run a youth group using volunteers for a year with that money! I am sorry to say that I was quite impressed during his council election with his commitment and hard work, I am afraid that I am now totally convinced he is in this to fulfil some sort of personal agenda. It is shameful that public money is being used to boost one mans ego. I certainly will not be voting liberal at the next council election. I would be interested to see the overwheming online poll, did 3 people vote yes and 1 vote no....therefore overwhelmed the poll? Can you vote on your own polls? Mr Lyons....what can you add to the Parish Council if you are elected that is worth the £8k you are wasting to "try" and get elected. Since when did the Parish Council become political, so much so that you had to consult with colleagues when you made your decision to continue with the plan?[/p][/quote]The online poll appears to have been removed from Ian Lyons Facebook page along with the link to this article - I wonder why!!!! mannyb
  • Score: -1

9:07am Tue 25 Sep 12

Paul Marfell says...

I am sure that whoever is elected will be of great value to Baildon and the parish council.

£8k (?? let's wait to see the final bill) is the cost of democracy. The candidates can not change the fact that 10 or more people requested an election.

If people are questioning motives why not get those 10+ to say what their reasons were?

Over the remaining period that the elected person will be in office the election will have taken around 50p of the £7.50 precept. Also remember that all 12 councillor positions are opened to election every 4 years.

The election cost does not take the money away from anything else. The parish council are supposed to decide what they want to spend money on and that determines the precept. They then go ahead and implement their plans. The £7.50 precept in Baildon is a simple indicator of the plans the parish council have had. Compare this with £24.30 for Keighley Town Council.
I am sure that whoever is elected will be of great value to Baildon and the parish council. £8k (?? let's wait to see the final bill) is the cost of democracy. The candidates can not change the fact that 10 or more people requested an election. If people are questioning motives why not get those 10+ to say what their reasons were? Over the remaining period that the elected person will be in office the election will have taken around 50p of the £7.50 precept. Also remember that all 12 councillor positions are opened to election every 4 years. The election cost does not take the money away from anything else. The parish council are supposed to decide what they want to spend money on and that determines the precept. They then go ahead and implement their plans. The £7.50 precept in Baildon is a simple indicator of the plans the parish council have had. Compare this with £24.30 for Keighley Town Council. Paul Marfell
  • Score: 1

9:09am Tue 25 Sep 12

thoughtout says...

As I understand it -the cost is fully covered by the Parish council

The idea for a co option decision offered by Mr Terry and Mrs kilyon would have saved £8000 and still offered chance for democracy through electors approaching councillors with their views

It does seem a totally unnecessary cost
As I understand it -the cost is fully covered by the Parish council The idea for a co option decision offered by Mr Terry and Mrs kilyon would have saved £8000 and still offered chance for democracy through electors approaching councillors with their views It does seem a totally unnecessary cost thoughtout
  • Score: -1

9:09am Tue 25 Sep 12

thoughtout says...

As I understand it -the cost is fully covered by the Parish council

The idea for a co option decision offered by Mr Terry and Mrs kilyon would have saved £8000 and still offered chance for democracy through electors approaching councillors with their views

It does seem a totally unnecessary cost
As I understand it -the cost is fully covered by the Parish council The idea for a co option decision offered by Mr Terry and Mrs kilyon would have saved £8000 and still offered chance for democracy through electors approaching councillors with their views It does seem a totally unnecessary cost thoughtout
  • Score: -1

10:07am Tue 25 Sep 12

Graham Terry says...

Ms Kilyon and I's intention was to halt the election process to save the money for use in the Baildon community.

Not knowing the mechanics of the election process in depth we assumed (rightly or wrongly) that it would go to co-option. Either that or we would have to re-apply for the post and hope the same 10 people did not 'come forward' again to force the election.

Mr Marfell raises an excellent point: "If people are questioning motives why not get those 10+ to say what their reasons were?" I would be interested to know how they even knew about the vacancy as unless you are in close contact with the Parish Council the average person on the street probably first heard about it when the election papers dropped through their doors.

To say I "hit out" at Mr Lyons is an over-statement. Myself and Ms Kilyon were simply requesting that our rejected proposal was made known to the public as we felt the people of Baildon should be aware of it.

The fact that I had to hound the T&A for a week before any commitment was made to publish indicates where their loyalties lie!
Ms Kilyon and I's intention was to halt the election process to save the money for use in the Baildon community. Not knowing the mechanics of the election process in depth we assumed (rightly or wrongly) that it would go to co-option. Either that or we would have to re-apply for the post and hope the same 10 people did not 'come forward' again to force the election. Mr Marfell raises an excellent point: "If people are questioning motives why not get those 10+ to say what their reasons were?" I would be interested to know how they even knew about the vacancy as unless you are in close contact with the Parish Council the average person on the street probably first heard about it when the election papers dropped through their doors. To say I "hit out" at Mr Lyons is an over-statement. Myself and Ms Kilyon were simply requesting that our rejected proposal was made known to the public as we felt the people of Baildon should be aware of it. The fact that I had to hound the T&A for a week before any commitment was made to publish indicates where their loyalties lie! Graham Terry
  • Score: -1

10:30am Tue 25 Sep 12

Paul Marfell says...

This is not the first time that 10 or more people requested an election to fill a BPC vacancy. The first time it happened the people did not know that they needed to take responsibility for getting the list back to Bradford Council. What a stupid requirement? As a result the vacancy was filled by co-option. Let's say 3 forms/petitions are displayed by CBMDC/BPC and 4 signatures are obtained on each. Who should decide to remove the forms and send them in by the due date? Why would an individual know that there were more forms out there? This is what democracy is like when you get down to the details.
This is not the first time that 10 or more people requested an election to fill a BPC vacancy. The first time it happened the people did not know that they needed to take responsibility for getting the list back to Bradford Council. What a stupid requirement? As a result the vacancy was filled by co-option. Let's say 3 forms/petitions are displayed by CBMDC/BPC and 4 signatures are obtained on each. Who should decide to remove the forms and send them in by the due date? Why would an individual know that there were more forms out there? This is what democracy is like when you get down to the details. Paul Marfell
  • Score: 1

10:44am Tue 25 Sep 12

Graham Terry says...

Obviously whoever instigated this petition was a bit more organised this time!
Obviously whoever instigated this petition was a bit more organised this time! Graham Terry
  • Score: 0

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