The Conservative Party candidate has won a by-election in Woodley by just seven votes.

The by-election for the Warren ward of the council saw Vinlande Lewis, the Conservative candidate, win with 241 votes.

He won by a tiny margin of just seven votes, with Liberal Democrat candidate David George Provins being the runner up with 234 votes.

The Labour Party candidate Gregory Bello managed just 34 votes. The by election was held on Thursday, July 29. Of the electorate of 1302 people, 522 people voted, a turnout of 40.12 per cent.

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A total of four ballots were spoiled. Three were thrown out for being unmarked or wholly voided for uncertainty, and one was rejected because the voter ticked more candidates than they were entitled to vote for.

The by-election was triggered after the death of incumbent councillor Dave Mills, whose death was announced on Friday, March 26.

Mr Mills served as a councillor since 2007 and as town mayor on two occasions, in 2015-16 and 2020-21. He was succeeded as town mayor by Cllr Janet Sartorel (Conservative, Loddon South).

Reading Chronicle: Dave Mills, a former Town Mayor of Woodley Credit: Woodley Town CouncilDave Mills, a former Town Mayor of Woodley Credit: Woodley Town Council

Fellow Conservative Cllr Jenny Cheng (South Lake) in a tribute to Cllr Mills, said: “Serving the residents of Woodley was very important to Dave. His pride of joy, however, was while in the position of Town Mayor of Woodley, which he held to be an honour. I worked with him for many years and I know he was always willing to help anyone. We shall all miss him.”

The Warren ward is located to the north west of Woodley near its boundary with Sonning. It is also represented by Conservative Cllr Shadi Brindley.

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Woodley Town Council has a total of 25 councillors, with the Conservatives holding the majority with 17 councillors, five Liberal Democrats, two Labour councillors and one Independent.

The by-election was called because enough neighbours requested the election to the monitoring officer at Wokingham Borough Council.