THE leader of Fylde Council was finally confirmed – after it emerged he had not been formally elected for close to two years.
Information presented to the council revealed that on May 23, 2011, an item of business to elect Coun David Eaves as leader of the council was omitted from a meeting agenda.
The item was finally included at a full council meeting on Monday night, where councillors voted to elect Coun Eaves – despite several expressing concern at the legal implications of the missed item.
A special meeting will be held between the council and legal representatives to discuss whether there are any further risks as a result of the error.
Freckleton Coun Trevor Fiddler called the mistake a “non-story”, but Coun Liz Oades said it was important that councillors are made aware of any further issues the non-election mistake may have created.
She added: “It is important we are made aware of the details of this special meeting so we can discuss the legal implications.
“I am quite happy to accept Coun Eaves as leader, but we are seeking legal advice and it is important we all look at that.”
The formal election of a leader is required by law and the council was forced to add the item to Monday’s agenda at late notice as an urgent item.
Fylde council chief executive Allan Oldfield said the authority would look investigate how the error occurred.
He added: “In May 2011 there should have been a procedural item on one of our agendas to elect the leader of the council.
“That item was omitted following an officer error. No-one spotted that following the meeting.
“Since the error in 2011 the leader has behaved and been recognised as the leader. He was elected in 2010 for four years.
“No-one knew it had been omitted. We are looking into why it was missed.
“We employ human beings.
“With government cuts we have fewer and fewer officers taking on more and more work and these things can happen.”