Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Candidate can stand

AN investigation seems unlikely to be carried out into the eligibility of a candidate in the Henley Town Council elections on May 2.

The ruling Henley Residents Group asked South Oxfordshire District Council to examine Conservative Simon Dunster’s candidacy.

Mr Dunster, a business advisor who lives in Lower Earley, gave an address in Bell Street, Henley, as his main place of work.

This is the address of the Head Partnership solicitors, which gave permission to the Henley Business Partnership, where Mr Dunster is an unpaid director, to use as a correspondence address.

The district council says that once its returning officer has made a decision that a nomination paper or home address form is valid, it cannot be challenged during the election period.

It may be challenged after the election by way of an “election petition”.

In a response to HRG, Margaret Reed, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “If anyone believes that an electoral offence has been committed it is open to them to report the matter to the police and to provide a formal statement if requested. 

“The returning officer cannot investigate or comment on such allegations.”

The Electoral Commission says that candidates must either live, own a property, be a voter or have their main or only place of work in the parish where they are standing.

Mr Dunster says he does a a lot of business in Henley and is standing for election in “good faith”.

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