AT the last full election of Hurworth Parish Council, five members of the Hurworth Against Detrimental Development (HADD) group were elected with the aim of stopping the Banks development in the village.

Hurworth Parish Council is very active and it is not easy for anyone in full time employment to serve, and the first resignation from the council was because of work commitments.

The council publicised the vacant post and co-opted a person to fill it. This cost nothing.

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Recently there were two more resignations, one person moved abroad and the other to Croft.

This time ten signatures were put forward to force a by-election.

This is democracy, but was it worth it when there is just over a year before the next full election?

Whereas full elections are paid for by Darlington Borough Council, by-elections have to be funded by the parish council – in this case, the cost was about £5,000.

There were seven candidates, four had served on the council previously, three of whom had resigned in mid-term.

There was a low turnout – 21 per cent – and 949 votes were cast, so at the most 500 people voted – that’s £10 a voter. Obviously there was no interest or desire for a by-election.

Should Hurworth Parish Council seek to recover the cost of the by-election that can only be done by increasing the local precept tax next April.

This election was a futile exercise brought about people who have issues with the parish council. Unfortunately all the Hurworth ratepayers will have to pay the price.

Ken Peacock, Hurworth