LETTER: Market Rasen needs a fair council election

Thank you for the opportunity to write this open letter, which adds to recent public concerns about local democracy.

As your readers know, Market Rasen Town Council frequently say that they do not get enough interest from potential candidates for vacant councillor positions.

I have now been turned down on two consecutive occasions, despite having eligibility to stand as a local representative. I have never been provided with a reason and fail to understand why the Council rejects people who only wish to serve their local community.

Following a recent resignation, there was an extended recruitment period resulting in two local people presenting their talents at last week’s council meeting for co-option as a town councillor.

The result was that neither was co-opted and the position is being re advertised-at cost to the local taxpayer. I find this unfair and feel it should be challenged in the spirit of local democracy and Localism.

It appears the council have a view that only certain people are ‘invited to the party’. Looking at the NALC job description for a local councillor, both candidates fulfilled the skills and values required. Incidentally MRTC has no published complaints procedure and very few current policies.

My background offers a wealth of community experience, having worked as a social entrepreneur, in health improvement as a nurse and health visitor across West Lindsey. I have worked tirelessly in organising community events,as a previous town councillor, a school governor and as a volunteer at Rasen Hub; bringing investment to the town through fundraising and developing a solid social enterprise in Market Rasen.

I work with a great team of volunteers who have produced and delivered the town map and Rasen Hub offers a wide range of community support activities.

I have a good understanding of financial probity, policy development and governance and recently supported the town council with community led planning and local consultation events, which led to the development of MR BIG and a new health and wellbeing group.

As a director (volunteer) at Rasen Hub, I developed the town council forums, for which we were thanked at last week’s meeting.

The purpose of my application was to improve local representation of the community by increasing the number of women councillors, to help improve local facilities and to have a fair, honest and transparent council that communicates with its taxpayers, who pay a precept to support it.

In the light of these events, local residents may wish to demonstrate their views about how the council delivers equality and open-ness.

What we need is a fair, open election.

Carol Skye RN RHV

Market Rasen