By-election in Exeter as county councillor resigns

Residents in Exeter will go to the polls in October following the resignation of a Devon county councillor.

Emma Brennan, who represented the Heavitree and Whipton ward, has stepped down from the authority.

She was first elected to the council in May 2017 and represented the Labour Party.

No reasons for her resignation has been announced.

A by-election to vote in her replacement is set to take place on Thursday, October 24.

A timetable for the election outlines that nominations for candidates must be received by Exeter City Council, which is administrating the election on behalf of Devon County Council, by 4pm on Friday, September 27.

The list of nominated candidates will be published on Monday, September 30.

Anyone wishing to vote must be registered by Tuesday, October 8, and the election will take place on Thursday, October 24.

The resignation of Cllr Brennan means that the current composition of Devon County Council is:

Conservatives – 42
Labour – 6
Liberal Democrats – 6
Independent – 2
Green Party – 1
East Devon Alliance – 1
Non-aligned Liberal – 1
Vacant – 1

The elected councillor would serve until May 2021, when the next elections would take place.

The Liberal Democrats have already announced that Rowena Squires will be their candidate for the by-election.

Rowena has lived in Exeter for nearly half a decade and is currently a research graduate at the University of Exeter.

Commenting on her selection, Rowena said: “Coming from a public sector family, I believe that Liberal Democrat policies are the best solution to the current education, policing, nursing and healthcare crises.

“My aim is to serve the community in any way possible. As diversity officer for Exeter Liberal Democrats I am keen to ensure that the voices of all communities are represented and aim to increase political engagement amongst those currently disillusioned with our political system.

“As a councillor I will be proactive and always willing to hear residents’ concerns and suggestions for the area.”

Tom Deakin, the Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidate for Exeter, added: “For too long the Labour Party have taken Exeter voters for granted.

“The people of Exeter deserve better and Rowena will make an excellent councillor for Heavitree and Whipton Barton. I am delighted to campaign alongside her to deliver a better deal for our City.”

No confirmation as to who the candidates for any other political party will be has yet been made.

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