Full list of candidates confirmed for Knaresborough Scriven Park by-election
Nominations for the upcoming by-election for the Knaresborough Scriven Park seat on Harrogate Borough Council have closed and the names are in.
It has now been confirmed who will stand during the 29 July election which is being held following the resignation of Conservative councillor Samantha Mearns who last month announced she had stepped down due to family reasons.
There are four candidates competing to replace her including Conservative nominee Jaqui Renton, a former landlady of The Union pub in Knaresborough.
Hannah Gostlow, a serving Knaresborough Town councillor, will stand for the Liberal Democrats, while the Labour Party has announced Sharon-Theresa Calvert as its candidate after she previously stood for a Knaresborough seat on North Yorkshire County Council in 2017.
The final name on the list is Harvey Alexander, a former UKIP member who is standing as an independent and previously competed for the Bilton and Nidd Gorge seat on North Yorkshire County Council in May.
Councillor Mearns had held her Knaresborough seat on the borough council since 2018 and when announcing her resignation in a letter to residents last month she said she was moving to Wales to be closer to her family after her younger brother died and her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
She added it had been a "great honour" to serve the area where she had lived for more than 18 years.
Councillor Mearns said: "Just before the pandemic struck, my younger brother, my only sibling, died from abdominal sepsis. With my sister in law and mother I watched him pass away. This had a huge impact upon me.
“Shortly after my mother became seriously unwell and was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully due to our fantastic NHS her current prognosis is good.
“However this and losing my brother in such a short time has made me look at what I needed to do with my life for my family.
“Our moves have now finalised, and with lockdown restrictions lifting, now is the appropriate time for me to stand aside.”
Councillor Mearns was also a member of Knaresborough Town Council and voting to fill this vacant seat will take place on the same day as the borough council by-election.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter