Havant party leaders call against by-election following tragic death of councillor

Cllr Colin Mackey died last week
Cllr Colin Mackey died last week
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a potential by-election following the death of a councillor looks set to be postponed as a mark of respect.

Councillor Colin Mackey, who represented Emsworth on Havant Borough Council, died following a heart attack last Thursday, aged 68.

The council is yet to announce any by-election plans, but party leaders believe that electing a councillor before council elections next May would be impractical.

Cllr Michael Cheshire, 
leader of the council, says that the authority will ‘start looking at the way ahead’ following a necessary time of mourning.

He said: ‘We’re still recovering from the situation we have found ourselves in.’

There are two other Tory councillors – Rivka Cresswell and Lulu Bowerman – serving the Emsworth ward.

Cllr Cheshire added: ‘I’m not particularly perplexed as there are two councillors doing a good job in the ward.

‘People can use those councillors as necessary.’

Labour leader Cllr Terry Hart, said: ‘If both councillors are happy to take on the workload, then I’m happy not to call for a by-election.

‘It just seems to be a waste of money to call a by-election, if there’s a way of saving money then that could be it.’

Cllr Faith Ponsonby, the sole councillor of Havant Lib Dems, says that holding a by-election ‘in the cold of winter is not a good time’.

She said: ‘One can wait until May to elect a new councillor.

‘I think Cllrs Bowerman and Cresswell are capable of speaking on the behalf of Emsworth’s residents.’

Cllr John Perry, leader of Havant Ukip, says that Cllr Mackey ‘served the council extremely well’.

‘It’s right for the council to have a period of mourning. I think we should leave the seat until May out of respect.

‘Campaigning would be wrong and Ukip would not do that.’

Cllr Cresswell and Cllr Bowerman were approached for comment.