Published: 09:42, 20 June 2021
| Updated: 09:44, 20 June 2021
An election pushed back following the unexpected death of one of the candidates has taken place.
The vote for the Kent County Council (KCC) division Elham Valley, near Folkestone, was delayed after Labour's Chris Deane suffered a fatal heart attack in April.
Rescheduled for Thursday, the ballot has now taken place, with Conservative Susan Carey announced as its winner.
The Tory held onto her seat, earning half of the votes cast – 13% more than her nearest rival, Douglas Wade of the Greens.
In the wake of the result, KCC leader Roger Gough (Con) has revealed Cllr Carey will be reappointed as cabinet member for environment.
“I am delighted to welcome Susan back to the council and that she will once again be leading on environmental issues,” he said.
“As an administration, we are deeply committed to protecting and enhancing Kent’s environment.
"We have a strong leadership team who already have a strong track record and will deliver on our ambitions.”
Gordon Cowan (Lab) came third, with 7% of the vote, finishing ahead of independent candidate Joe Egerton in last place.
The result is Cllr Carey's fifth election victory, having held Elham Valley since 2005.
A former head teacher, Mr Deane spent much of his career working in London schools.
The 73-year-old moved with wife Nicky to Hythe in 2011.
There, the pair became active members of the constituency's Labour party, with Mr Deane working as an election agent in 2017 and 2019.