Election chance as vice-chairman becomes fourth representative to quit Sidmouth Town Council since June

The resignation of Sidmouth Town Council’s vice-chairman has seen residents in the resort’s south ward asked if they would like to call another election.

Paul Wright this week stood down from the authority after five years because he has moved out of the area.

He is the fourth representative to quit the council in as many months.

John Rayson, also a south ward councillor, resigned along with east ward representative Louise Thompson in June.

David Barratt, a Salcombe Regis representative of a decade, stepped down in August.

All three had cited ‘personal reasons’ for their departures.

Councillor Ian Barlow, chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said of Mr Wright: “Paul brought a calm and level head to the council with a very personable and measured approach in everything he worked on.

“His IT skills and knowledge have been particularly beneficial with various projects he has been involved in. He will be very much missed”.

Townsfolk have now been invited to request a vote to fill the new south ward vacancy.

For this to happen, ten residents would need to ask that an election be held.

Sidmouth town clerk Christopher Holland said: “Such a request must be signed and sent to the returning officer at East Devon District Council, or sent electronically, which must include a scan of the elector’s signature, to electoralservices@eastdevon.gov.uk by midnight on 28 September.”

Elections will be held to fill the exsisting east, south and Salcombe Regis ward vacancies.

However, residents won’t be able to go to the polls until at least May 2021 due to government coronavirus legislation.

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