MSP stays on as councillor to protect public purse

John Devlin.. 2011 Elections. Labours John Pentland wins seat.
John Devlin.. 2011 Elections. Labours John Pentland wins seat.
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NEWLY-elected Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland has decided to stay on as a councillor to save North Lanarkshire Council the cost of a by-election.

The previous North Lanarkshire by-election in the three-member Coatbridge North and Glenboig ward in 2009 cost £18,500 for a hand counted vote.

Mr Pentland’s ward of Wishaw has four members which would be likely to push the cost up to £23,500 and if done electronically, as much as £30,000.

Three other North Lanarkshire councillors - Wishaw’s Clare Adamson, Bellshill’s Richard Lyle and Mr Pentland’s Labour colleague Mark Griffin - were all elected on the Central Scotland list and will also stay on until next year’s local government elections.

Mr Pentland said: “Given that the local elections are scheduled to take place in May 2012, I was concerned at the additional costs of a by-election from the public purse.

“By not going for by-elections and not accepting remuneration, there is a capability to save around £200,000.”

Full story in June 2 edition of Times & Speaker