Leighton-Linslade town councillor elected in May has resigned

Leighton-Linslade Town Council. Picture: Tony MargiocchiLeighton-Linslade Town Council. Picture: Tony Margiocchi
Leighton-Linslade Town Council. Picture: Tony Margiocchi
The resignation could trigger a by-election

A by-election could be held for a seat on Leighton-Linslade Town Council after a councillor resigned.

Liberal Democrat town councillor David Goss was elected to Leston ward at the local elections in May.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ten electors of the parish ward have to make a request in writing by Tuesday, December 12 for an election to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

If an election is called, it will take place not later than February 16, 2024, according to a parish vacancy notice published by Central Bedfordshire Council.

Any letter or email asking for a by-election has to be sent to the local authority’s returning officer.

Mr Goss resigned on November 22, having not attended any meetings since early June.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Liberal Democrat group on the town council has reduced the number of councillors from nine to five on some committees and to six for planning and transport, since the party’s local electoral success in May.

“There were 11 councillors on policy and finance before then, with ten sitting on the other committees, according to Independent Leighton Linslade West Central Bedfordshire councillor Victoria Harvey.

“What matters is having 21 elected councillors, who can put the time in and really care about the town,” she explained.

“It’s worrying that since the Liberal Democrats took charge of the committees the numbers serving on them have been nearly halved in size.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Instead of nine councillors, there are only five on really vital committees, such as economic and culture, and community safety, which can make such a difference to the town.

“More importantly, the town council can have a powerful and influential voice when it lobbies CBC on land south of the High Street and about local healthcare.

“But there were just four councillors at a recent land south of the High Street working party meeting, while only three councillors attended the latest meeting of the town council’s health services working party.

“Any councillor can take part in a meeting if they’re not a committee member, even if they don’t have a vote,” she added. “Many councillors, including myself, previously attended some or most of these meetings.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Liberal Democrat town council leader councillor Russ Goodchild said: “All committee meetings are open to any councillor and member of the public to come along and ask a question of us, or to hear about the work we’re doing for the town and its residents.

“Since our election in May, we’ve focused on delivering for local people. This has included supporting the town’s businesses and market traders, helping local community groups, and maintaining our precious parks and open spaces.

“Our new neighbourhood plan is being developed. This will help us work with CBC to make sure any future development in the town is considered as part of a long-term strategy for Leighton Buzzard, rather than just being foisted on us without the urgently needed appropriate infrastructure.

“We’ve also committed as a local authority to continue to develop a vision for land south of the High Street, which can provide huge benefits to the town and safeguard the space for future generations.”