PRUDHOE could be set for another town council by-election less than a year after the seat was contested.

A casual vacancy for the Castle and Eltringham Ward arose following the sudden death of Coun. Martin Foster in November.

Coun. Foster was only elected to the post in July, after he defeated Labour candidate Lee Robinson by 252 votes to 120.

A poll was requested by electors who live in the ward, meaning an election could be contested. Local government guidelines state that an election must be held if 10 or more residents of a ward request an election within two weeks of the vacancy being advertised.

The poll would be scheduled to take place on April 23, with the official notice of the election to be published on March 17.

No candidates have yet come forward to fill the seat, but if more than one candidate states they will stand by March 24, an election will be held. However, if just one candidate puts their name forward, they would be elected unopposed.

The issue was raised at Prudhoe Town Council last Wednesday.

County councillor Gordon Stewart reminded the council that another election was already scheduled to take place two weeks after the proposed date for the town council by-election.

Coun. Stewart said: “I would remind you that there’s a Police and Crime Commissioner Election two weeks after that, and you don’t want to spend all that money.

“You could save yourself £3,000 and a lot of people’s efforts – it’s worth a conversation with the election office.”

But the council’s clerk, Sarah Eden, explained that the council did not have a say in when the election would be held. She said this was because electoral rules stated that an election must be held within 90 days of an election being called.