A COUNTY councillor has temporarily joined a parish council so they have enough people to co-opt more members.

Sandhoe Parish Council, near Corbridge, was hit by resignations in October and November last year, and did not obtain enough requests from residents to trigger a by-election.

This meant the council only had two members, and was legally unable to make any decisions. The minimum quorum – the number of members needed to make decisions – for the five-seat council is three.

As a result, Coun. Nick Oliver (pictured above), whose Corbridge ward covers Sandhoe, has temporarily been appointed to the council. The move was agreed by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday, January 14.

This will enable the parish council to co-opt new members. A county council report stated that the authority understood that there was at least one other person, and possibly a second, willing to act as co-opted councillors for the parish council’s remaining term.