First candidates revealed for Knaresborough Scriven Park by-election

The first candidates have been revealed for the upcoming by-election for the Knaresborough Scriven Park seat on Harrogate Borough Council.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:30 pm
The by-election for the Knaresborough Scriven Park seat on Harrogate Borough Council will take place on 29 July.

The by-election is being held following the resignation of councillor Samantha Mearns who announced she was stepping down due to family reasons after holding the seat as a member of the Conservative party since 2018.

Voting for candidates to replace her will take place on 29 July, with the deadline for nominations to be made by 4pm today (2 July).

The Conservatives have announced Jaqui Renton, a former landlady of The Union pub in Knaresborough, as their candidate, while Hannah Gostlow, a serving Knaresborough Town councillor, will stand for the Liberal Democrats.

Sharon-Theresa Calvert will also compete in the by-election for the Labour Party after previously standing for a Knaresborough seat on North Yorkshire County Council in 2017.

The Yorkshire Party told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was looking for a suitable candidate, while the Green Party said in a statement it had "initiated discussions with opposition parties" about working together.

Announcing her resignation in a letter to residents last month, councillor Mearns 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 said it had been a "great honour" to serve the area where she had lived for more than 18 years.

Councillor Mearns said: "In many people’s lives things happen that change the direction of their lives. This is the same with me. Not too long before the pandemic struck, my younger brother – my only sibling – died after a relatively short but terrible illness.

"Shortly after, and during the pandemic, my mother was diagnosed with cancer.

"Having lost my brother and faced with potentially losing my mother in a short time made me look at what I needed to do with my life to do the right thing by my family."

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.

The by-election will be the second held in the Harrogate district this year after Conservative councillor Matt Scott last month won the Bilton and Nidd Gorge seat on North Yorkshire County Council following the death of Liberal Democrat councillor Geoff Webber.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter