The question being asked is who knew Martin Curtis was at risk of being disqualifed as a councillor- and could or should he have been warned?
- Credit: Archant
Martin Curtis, disqualified on a technicality from Whittlesey Town Council, says he lost his seat because “I have failed to sign a form I didn’t know about nor was advised about”.
He had earlier stepped down as a county and district councillor but topped the poll for the Bassenhally ward at Whittlesey on May 7.
However what he failed to realise that by not being at the town council annual meeting on May 20 – when all councillors were expected to sign their declaration of acceptance- he was automatically disqualified.
“I never forgot, to forget means you have to know in the first place,” he said. “The rule I have fallen foul is applies to town and parish councillors who have sign before the annual meeting,” he said.
“In Whittlesey no advice was given beforehand that the form needed to be signed; there was an expectation that it would be signed by councillors at the AGM. I had to give apologies for that meeting because of a work commitment. Which I did at 11.43am on the day of the annual meeting. No advice was given to me that the form needed signing even after that.”
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He added: “Ultimately I accept this is my responsibility. However, I have failed to sign a form I didn’t know about nor was advised about. I have had huge support from my fellow town councillors and aim to continue.”
A Fenland Council spokesman said Mr Curtis “failed to sign his declaration of acceptance within 28 days. A vacancy notice has now been issued.”
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Electors have until July 2 to either call for a fresh election (it needs 10 signatures to trigger a by election) or failing that the council can agree to co-opt a councillor.