A by-election has been announced in Reading following the sudden death of a sitting councillor.

Councillor Colette Dennis, who was elected as Labour representative for Norcot ward in 2022 and 2023, sadly died aged 60 on Friday, June 9.

The councillor’s death has prompted a by-election in the Norcot ward, which covers the eastern parts of Tilehurst close to the town centre.

The by-election will take place on Thursday, August 3.

Residents must be registered to vote  by Tuesday, July 18 to be able to vote on polling day. Those voting in person must bring photographic ID in order to be able to vote.

Alternatively, you can vote by post, where there is no requirement for ID – as long as a person is registered, they may vote. You can also apply to vote by proxy.

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Those who do not have photo ID but would like to vote on the day can apply for a free  Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) online, or apply by paper application form and send this to Reading’s Electoral Services team by 5pm on Wednesday, July 26.

Reading Borough Council’s returning officer Michael Graham said: “Even if you voted at May’s recent local elections, if you’ve followed the same routine for many years it can be very easy to forget the change of rules on photo ID. Residents will need the right photographic ID with them when they come to vote at their polling station, or a valid VAC.

“Residents who used a VAC during the local elections in May do not need to apply for a new one for the Norcot by-election.

“There is, of course, an easy alternative to voting in person and having to show photo ID, which is to apply for a postal vote. You can do that via the Council’s website.

“I’d also urge anyone who is unsure to make sure they are registered to vote.  If you are not registered, it only takes 5 minutes online and can be done at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the Norcot ward by-election is Wednesday, July 19, and for a proxy vote is Wednesday, July 26.

Reading Chronicle: Councillor Colette Dennis (Labour, Norcot) who died aged 60 on Friday, June 9. Credit: Reading Borough CouncilCouncillor Colette Dennis (Labour, Norcot) who died aged 60 on Friday, June 9. Credit: Reading Borough Council

Changes have been made to polling stations – where people go to vote in elections.

The Council will be hosting a polling station at the new Dee Space (Community Centre), instead of Ranikhet Academy, on August 3.

St Michael’s School in Dee Road will continue to be used as a polling station, but residents who drive are being asked to park on the road due to no vehicle access into the school which is closed.

The seat is being contested by Labour candidate Finn McGoldrick, Marie French for the Liberal Democrats, Lizzy Sheppard for the Conservatives, the Richard Walkem for the Greens, Jennifer Bottom for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Independent candidate Alan Gulliver.