Councillor’s ill health sparks ward by-election

Ballot box at the ready

Ballot box at the ready

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Voters will go to the polls next month after Chorley Council announced a by-election.

A seat in Euxton North is up for grabs as Labour councillor Mike Handley had his role automatically taken away following last week’s council meeting.

He had not attended a meeting for six months due to ill health.

Gary Hall, the council’s chief executive, said: “Legislation states that any councillor not attending meetings for a period of six months will automatically lose his status as an elected member of the council.

“It is possible to request an extension to this period of time but no request was received prior to the full council meeting on Tuesday night.

“A by-election will now be held, so it is a good opportunity to remind voters in Euxton North to check they are on the electoral register should they wish to vote.”

The by-election will be held on October 29 and people wishing to stand must submit their nominations by Friday.

Tommy Gray, who has previously represented Euxton North, has been chosen as the prospective candidate for Labour, while the Conservatives are in the process of selecting their candidate.

Mr Handley was elected in May 2014, winning the seat by a majority of 122 votes.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of the Labour group, said: “It’s always regrettable when someone has to give up a role they love for health reasons.”

Conservative leader Coun Paul Leadbetter said: “We all wish him well and hope he recovers.”

The deadline to register to vote is October 13. Applications to vote by post must be received by October 14 and applications to vote by proxy by October 21.