By election expected shortly to replace Wisbech councillor and former mayor convicted of firearms charge

PUBLISHED: 14:48 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 15:43 01 September 2014

Jonathan Farmer 06/2012

Jonathan Farmer 06/2012

Archant

A by election will be held to replace Jonathan Farmer on both Wisbech Town Council and Fenland District Council following his disqualification as a councillor.

Farmer, 57, was automatically disqualified the moment he was given a 21 month suspended prison sentence on a firearms charge.

A Fenland council spokesman said: “He ceased to be a councillor from the moment of sentencing and he is automatically disqualified from being elected or being a councillor for five years.”

The council will be publishing a notice of the vacancies on both councils tomorrow (Tue) and it needs only for two members of the public to call the by election.

“As soon as it is called in, we will confirm the date of the poll, which has to be within 35 working days of the call-in,” said the spokesman.

“Until we have had a call-in we can’t be sure of the actual date.”

Under the 1972 Local Government Act anyone receiving a sentence of three months or more without the option of a fine, is immediately disqualified.

Farmer represented the Medworth ward on both councils and held various roles including that of mayor of Wisbech in 2008-2009.

He had also served on a number of committees at Fenland Council including corporate governance, licensing, staffing, planning, licensing and scrutiny.

In 2010 he was a senior member of an election monitoring team in war-torn Southern Sudan helping to validate the first free elections in 25 years.

Both town and district seats will be fought for again next year when elections will be held across Fenland for town, village and district seats.

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