Councillor stint racks up £8,000 bill

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The six-week term of Thetford West’s departed UKIP councillor could end up costing taxpayers’ more than £8,000, it has been revealed.

Peter Georgiou served just six weeks as a Norfolk county councillor after being elected on May 2 and resigning last Friday.

The county council confirmed this week that Mr Georgiou would have picked up just under £1,000 in allowances for his stint.

And a by-election - to be held on August 1 - will cost around £7,000, according to a spokesman for Breckland District Council.

Labour candidate Terry Jermy, who was beaten to the seat by Mr Georgiou by one vote at the election, said his term had been ‘a waste of money’.

“It’s very frustrating because it’s not only the cost of the by-election, it’s the candidates’ and political parties’ costs for campaigning.

“It’s also frustrating for residents who are going to get more leaflets and knocks on their door with the last election only being six weeks ago,” he said.

However, Mr Jermy said he did not blame Mr Georgiou for the expense.

“I don’t think he should have stood, but it’s not his fault, it comes down to UKIP and their process for selecting candidates.

“Before the election they would have chosen anybody to stand because they didn’t think they had a chance, then there was a sudden rush of support.

“Now we’ve got by-elections going on all over the country because of it,” he said.

Mr Jermy added that he had asked the Labour party if he could stand in the by-election.

Tristan Ashby, who stood as Conservative candidate in the last election, said he would also be willing to stand, if selected.

UKIP and the Liberal Democrats will announce their candidates early next week.