A BY-ELECTION for the Whippingham and Osborne ward will take place at the end of June.

The seat is now vacant after former Isle of Wight ward councillor Julia Baker-Smith resigned and moved to Manchester.

The election will take place on June 20, with at least five parties contesting the seat.

The Greens and Liberal Democrats both said they would be putting forward candidates, with more details to be announced at a later date.

Ryde town councillor Karen Lucioni has been put forward by the Island Independents.

Luisa Hillard, a former Isle of Wight councillor for the East Cowes ward, who lost her seat at the last election, has been chosen as the Labour candidate.

Stephen Hendry has been put forward by the Isle of Wight Conservative Party.

A spokesperson for Island Labour said: “Luisa is a well-known figure in the area and will be an excellent candidate.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“We will be putting a lot of effort in to win the ward, using comrades from all over the Island. The Central Wight by-election last year was an enjoyable first experience of campaigning for many members.

“This is an opportunity to repeat the experience in much more promising territory for the Labour Party.”

Conservative political hopeful Stephen Hendry, who has served on East Cowes Town Council for the last six years, said: “I understand the key issues affecting the local area. Whippingham is also an important part of the ward, which requires a pro-active councillor working closely with the parish council.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“I look forward to getting out on the doorstep over the coming weeks. I am already working hard for residents as a town councillor; this by-election offers an opportunity for me to continue this at a county level, drawing on my experience in getting things done on behalf of the local community.”

Chair of the Isle of Wight Conservative Association David Pugh added: “For too long, this area has lacked an effective voice at County Hall, as the absent Labour councillor failed to attend meetings on behalf of her constituents.

“This by-election cannot come soon enough. We now have the opportunity to elect a councillor who will be an influential and pro-active representative for local residents, as part of the majority Conservative group.”

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