A by-election is possible following Cllr Vijay Shah's decision to plead guilty to 11 counts of financial fraud at St. Alban's Crown Court. Cllr Shah is currently an independent councillor having lost Liberal Democratic Party support when charges were first brought against him. The other two councillors in the ward are Liberal Democrats.
Cllr Shah will be sentenced on May13th and if sentenced to three months or more , without the option of a prison sentence, would automatically be disqualified from holding a council seat. According to Wembley and Kingsbury Times sources he is expected to get a prison sentence.
Now that Cllr Shah has admitted fraud reportedly totalling around £50,000, it would be best for the electorate if he stood down immediately to allow a by-election to take place. He should not remain in public office. The Wembley Central electorate facing all the problems of the recession need to be represented by a fully engaged councillor of good standing.
The 2006 Local Election was closely fought between the Lib Dems and Labour:
Daniel Bessong (LD) 1709, Valerie Brown (LD) 1738, Vijay Shah (LD) 1824
Dhirajlal Katana (Lab) 1619, Navaratnam Paramakumaran(Lab) 1443, Zaffer Van Kalwala (Lab) 1420
Candidates from other parties all polled less than 500 votes each but the political landscape has changed considerably since 2006 and it could be an open and exciting contest.