By-election candidates being lined up for North Worle seat following Derek Mead's death

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 July 2017

Derek Mead

Derek Mead

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Weston-super-Mare's political parties have started to choose who will represent them in a likely by-election following the sudden death of councillor Derek Mead.

Cllr Mead, who was also a well-known businessman and farmer, died in a tractor accident on his farm in Hewish last month.

He represented North Worle on both North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council as a member of North Somerset First Independents.

Weston’s political groups waited until after his funeral on June 30 to start to arrange who may stand for them in a by-election for the two authorities.

A date has not been set for a by-election, as a poll must first be requested via a petition. If a petition, which only needs two signatures, is received by North Somerset Council, a date will then be set.

North Worle is currently represented by Conservative members on both councils.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the by-election date, the Liberal Democrat group has already selected its candidates.

The party invited expressions of interest from members after Cllr Mead’s funeral, and held a selection meeting last week.

Alan Rice is likely to stand for the district council, and Lewis Treloar for the town council.

Mike Bell, leader of North Somerset Council’s LibDem group, said: “North Worle has been ignored by the Conservative administration for years and Alan and Lewis are determined to be strong local champions.”

Weston’s Labour group has announced its own selection process and secretary Simon Stokes said: “With our recent success in the General Election, we are now in a very strong position to be able to win this seat and increase our representation on both of our local councils.”

Anyone who has been a Weston Labour member for 12 months or more can put themselves forward by July 26, but only North Worle ward members can vote.

UKIP has confirmed if there is a by-election, it will stand candidates, most likely a different candidate for each body. The Mercury contacted the Conservative group for a comment, but did not receive one at the time of going to press.

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