A shock bill for more than £1,000 has been received by Llanidloes Town Council for an election that did not happen.

The three town council wards – Dulas, Hafren and Clywedog – were automatically filled in the local elections in May, when 13 candidates stood for 14 seats. The final seat was later filled by co-option.

The town council believed this to be the end of the matter, but at a meeting last week town clerk Sonia Pritchard informed councillors that a surprise invoice for £1,038.74 had been received.

She said Powys County Council (PCC) now charged an average of more than £300 per uncontested ward.

Mayor Cllr Janet Crisp, reading from the letter from PCC, said the money was a contribution towards poll cards and the returning officer’s fees.

She added: “How can they charge for something which didn’t happen?”

It was agreed to request a breakdown from the county council detailing exactly what the charges were for.

Cllr Edward Breeze added: “Do they want us to pay for anything else we haven’t had as well?”

A Powys County Council spokesman said: “Uncontested elections have all the same costs as contested apart from an actual vote – they still have the same admin, nomination process, polling cards. The only difference is you have one candidate so don’t need a vote.

“The decision to recover the cost was one of the savings that was agreed by the full council back in February 2016.

“Llanidloes Town Council would have been notified at the time along with the other community councils.”