County Hall at Maidstone is the headquarters Kent County Council

Six candidates contesting county council by-election

Six men will contest the Kent County Council by-election in the Canterbury North division next month.

All five major UK political parties are fielding candidates alongside an independent.

The election was prompted following the death of Conservative John Simmonds, who passed away in August after nearly 20 years as a county councillor.

Hoping to retain the seat for the Conservative Party is Robert Thomas, who is already a city councillor representing the rural ward of Chartham and Stone Street on Canterbury City Council.

The Liberal Democrat contender is Alex Lister, the managing director of Canterbury Digital which publishes the Canterbury Journal.

John Simmonds’ death provoked the by-election

He lives in Canterbury with his wife and two children.

The Green Party candidate is teacher Henry Stanton.

He lives in Crundale and stood for the Greens in Canterbury and Whitstable at last year’s general election.

Ukip’s candidate is University of Kent student Joe Simons. He is Ukip’s Canterbury branch chairman and the president of the University of Kent Ukip Students.

Also coming from the University of Kent is the Labour candidate Ben Hickman.

He is a lecturer in modern poetry and director of the Centre for Modern Poetry.

The final candidate is independent Joe Egerton. He lives in the city centre and stood as a Conservative in the 2017 county council election for Canterbury City South, losing to Liberal Democrat Ida Linfield.

The Canterbury North division includes the Church Street and South Street areas of Whitstable, south Tankerton, Chestfield, Chartham, Chartham Hatch and Shalmsford Street, Harbledown, Blean, the University of Kent campus, Tyler Hill and Rough Common.

Voters have until 5pm on Wednesday, Ocrober 31 to apply for a postal vote and 5pm on Wednesday, November 7 to apply for someone to vote on their behalf as a proxy vote.

Polling day is Thursday, November 15.

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