BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council has appointed a new returning officer to oversee elections.

Sue Cuerden, executive director of finance and resources at the council, is set to take over as interim returning officer and electoral registration officer while Rebecca Emmett, who headed the 2021 elections, is on maternity leave.

Sue is a qualified chartered management accountant with more than 25 years of experience in local government.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Thursday, July 15, council leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to give this responsibility across to Sue Cuerden.

“There are no byelections in the interim period and therefore she will have her opportunity to serve us as returning officer at the next May election and I ask for your support in this.”

The proposal was seconded by deputy leader Cllr Simon Bound and unanimously agreed by members, with Mayor of Basingstoke Cllr Onnalee Cubitt offering words of congratulations to Sue.

The returning officer is an impartial role, which ensures the legal organisation and conduct of an election.