By-election called for Long Melford parish council vacancies

A view of the church and green at Long Melford. Photograph Tudor Morgan-Owen.

A view of the church and green at Long Melford. Photograph Tudor Morgan-Owen. - Credit: Archant

A by-election to fill two vacant places on a troubled parish council is due to be held in January.

Last month, Long Melford Parish Council chairman Jane Lines called for the entire council to resign in a bid to end ongoing infighting in the picturesque village, which had resulted in the police being called to meetings on two separate occasions.

The idea was to force a by-election so the council could start afresh and the people of Long Melford could vote for who they wanted to run their village.

But because husband and wife team Richard and Carole Michette refused to stand down, members have now pledged to work together to resolve the ongoing issues.

In recent months, two of the councillors Helen Spear and Sarah Wordley resigned leaving 11 serving members. Some of the remaining councillors were worried that new councillors would be ‘co-opted’ into the positions.

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But last night Mrs Lines confirmed that an election was likely to take place on January 14 following a request to Babergh District Council from 10 local electors.

She said: “No nomination papers have been received so far but we have had some interest in the vacancies. We won’t know until next Monday whether the election is likely to be contested or not.

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“Holding an election is the fairest way to fill the positions and it is what the public have requested.”

Mrs Lines described last Thursday’s parish council meeting as “very positive” and said progress was being made on a number of ongoing issues.

She added: “We have finally agreed on a quote for resurfacing work in Chemist Lane, which has been a contentious subject for the past few months.

“We are also looking into the possibility of renovating the old toilet block in Cordell Road which the council could use for offices and the heritage centre could be moved there.

“There is finally a sense now that we are starting to work together again and are hopeful about the future.”

Nomination packs for the forthcoming by-election are available by calling electoral services on 01473 825713 or by emailing

Completed nominations must be submitted by 4pm on Monday, December 14. If the election is contested, a poll will be held on January 14.

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