By 'Returning Officer'
They say it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.....but if I were a member of the electorate in Newton Aycliffe's west ward, I'd be wondering if it wasn't at my expense.
The woman in question is Enid Paylor, who stood as an independent candidate in the recent local elections.
She did very well; she topped the poll, taking one of the two seats up for grabs. Labour's Mike Dixon took the other one - and another Labour candidate, Vincent Crosby, came third and missed out by just a few votes.
Here at Cobblers, we've heard rumours that Enid has either joined - or is about to join - Labour.
I reckon if I'd voted Independent in Newton Aycliffe it would have been because (for whatever reason) I wanted an alternative to Labour. If I wanted a Labour councillor, I would have put my X in the appropriate box. Seems a simple enough choice to me.
One independent councillor we spoke to said..."I know there will be a great deal of the electorate who would be disappointed". Disappointed? Here at Cobblers we could think of a few more - and disappointed doesn't come close.
Enid told the local press: "It is, after all, my decision whether or not I join the Labour Party, or any other party, for that matter."
We'll remember that, Enid. Next time round, it will be our decision whether or not to vote for you - after all, many of us in the electorate are just as 'independent' as you (were)!
(And even though we've never met Vincent '3rd place' Crosby, we reckon he'll be just a bit miffed as he has his breakfast this morning)