A parish council has returned to full strength following the removal of a councillor.
Nick May was stripped of his seat on Great Cornard Parish Council in November after failing to attend meetings for six months.
This left the authority facing the prospect of a by-election – a process which can cost around £3,000.
Instead, members voted to co-opt former village councillor David Thomas.
“I am delighted we are back to our full complement and a suitable replacement has been found,” said council chairman Mick Cornish.
“We did not want to have an expensive by-election and, thankfully, that’s not necessary now.”
Mr Thomas, from St Andrews Road, is the tree warden for Great Cornard. Although formerly a Conservative, he fills the Independent seat left vacant by Mr May, who is thought to have left the village.
“The last I heard, Mr May was living in Lavenham, so it was no surprise that he was not coming to meetings,” said Mr Cornish.
Mr May joined the council in July 2011, but his election was far from straight forward.
He required the agreement of two senior judges to take up his seat on the parish council after a candidate, who received 35 fewer votes, was wrongly declared the winner during the local elections.
This was due to a mistake by the returning officer at Babergh District Council.