Southgate by-election candidates announced

Three candidates will be aiming to earn a seat on Crawley Borough Council during a by-election next month.

Southgate residents will go to the polls on Thursday June 9 after ill health saw one of their councillors unable to attend a council meeting for six consecutive months.

Labour’s Mike Pickett won the Southgate seat during a 2014 by-election, being re-elected in 2016 and 2019.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

But, in line with the Local Government Act 1972, his absence meant he could no longer serve as a councillor.

A by-election will be held in Southgate next week

The three vying for the seat are no strangers to elections, have stood before.

Richard Kail (Green) was a candidate for Bewbush & North Broadfield in 2021, coming third. Bob Noyce (Labour) lost to Kevan McCarthy in Pound Hill South & Forge Wood in 2021. Jan Tarrant (Conservative) served as councillor for Southgate between 2015 and 2019 before standing down.

Currently, Labour holds 18 seats and the Tories 17, so the result of the by-election will either strengthen Labour’s hold or plunge the council back into No Overall Control.

The new leader and mayor will be announced by Labour at the annual council meeting on May 27.

Current leader Peter Lamb announced last week he is standing down ‘on his own terms’, with the Labour group picking veteran councillor Michael Jones to succeed him.

The mayor holds the casting vote when decisions are made during various council meetings.

So a Labour mayor backing Labour choices could lead to some extremely frustrating months ahead for the Tories whenever a vote is tied.