Dates and details announced for Cleadon and East Boldon by-election after disqualification of Jeff Milburn over court sentence
Voters are once more being called to the polls after South Tyneside Council has revealed more details of an upcoming by-election triggered by the disqualification of a councillor.
This was linked to an incident where Mr Milburn was found to be in possession of a bladed article when attending South Tyneside Magistrates Court on January 10, 2020.
After pleading guilty to possession of the item – a lock knife – he received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at a hearing on July 20, 2020.
South Tyneside Council’s constitution, which the authority says reflects Government guidance, states anyone who is given a jail term of three months or more, whether that is suspended or not, can no longer act in the role.
The council confirmed that Cllr Milburn’s disqualification did not take effect whilst an appeal against the suspended court sentence was being pursued.
As “that is no longer the case,” a council spokesperson said, “Mr Milburn can now no longer act in the role.”
When and how the election will take place
Following a vacancy being declared at a full council meeting on Thursday, July 22, a by-election to fill the Cleadon and East Boldon seat has now been set for Thursday, September 9.
South Tyneside Council has created a dedicated website for the by-election, including key deadlines and information for voters in the ward.
This includes dates for registering to vote in person, voting by post and information on applying for proxy votes.
Poll cards will be delivered to voters in the Cleadon and East Boldon ward between August 4 and August 10, which will show the address of specific polling stations.
Those intending to stand as a candidate in the by-election must also complete and return nomination papers by 4pm on Thursday, August 12.
A full list of candidates is expected to be published on Friday, August 13.
In the latest round of local elections on May 6 this year, ex-police officer Ian Forster was elected as a Conservative councillor for the ward with a 373-vote majority over Labour’s Jane Carter.
A total of 3,496 people in Cleadon and East Boldon cast their vote out of a total electorate of 6,892 – a turnout of 50.7%.
Electoral turnout in the Cleadon and East Boldon ward has remained the highest in the borough in recent local government elections, including 46.4% in 2019 and 47.6% in 2018.
It is the second by-election of 2021, with voters in the Hedworth and Fellgate ward having gone to the polls on July 29 to choose a new candidate after former independent councillor John Robertson resigned.
Details of the upcoming by-election in the ward can be found on the council’s website here: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/73228