LABOUR has held its place in Southcote ward with ease after yesterday's by-election.

Jason Brock will now join as the latest member of Reading Borough Council after securing his seat.

The poll followed the former incumbent Matt Lawrence's decision to stand down due to a clash with his new career.

Cllr Brock will join his party's 30 other elected members who have comfortably ruled the authority for the last five years.

Speaking after the result he said: "I am really honoured that people in Southcote have put their trust in me and I hope to do them proud and reflect all the residents of Southcote, not just those who voted for me.

"I really love Southcote, I think it is a fantastic community with a real community feel about it.

"I also want to help people and work for them to resolve any issues they have.

"Reading is a great town and as it continues to grow and develop that it does so in the interests of the people of Reading."

Leader of the council Cllr Jo Lovelock said: "We are obviously very pleased with the results in Southcote and I think that Jason Brock is going to make an excellent councillor.

"He is very committed and is going to bring a lot to the work in Southcote and the wider work in Reading.

"I have been really impressed with his grasp of local issues and he has worked very hard in the campaign."

The full results from the vote were:

Jason Brock (Lab) - 924

Mark Cole (Lib Dem) - 77

Alan Lockey (Green) - 66

Russell Martin (Con) - 381

Turnout was 22.46 per cent and there were three spoilt ballots.