Daughter fights for the council seat left vacant by death of her father

Daughter fights for the council seat left vacant by death of her father

Rowena Stanyer, a 37-year-old communication specialist and daughter of Julian Stanyer, was chosen by the local Conservatives after the by-election was controversially called last week on the day of Cllr Stanyer’s funeral.

The move involved the Alliance party and led to a break with protocol. The call for an election is not normally pushed forward before the incumbent’s funeral.

Conservative Cllr Julian Stanyer had represented the Speldhurst & Bidborough Ward since 2012 and was Mayor in 2014/2015.

He was among one of the most respected members in the Town Hall. His death, after a long illness on September 26, has prompted a by-election.

The ballot could see the Tories become a minority party in the council chamber if the party lose the seat.

“Having to be interviewed to stand in my father’s seat on the day of his funeral was not ideal, but I will be standing in the by-election,” Rowena Stanyer told the Times.

“But I’ve had so much support and messages with people coming up to me to say the most lovely things about my dad and talk about all the things he did for the community.

“He was the sort of man who could sit on a park bench and make a friend. I really loved my dad and know he did so much for local people and I want to carry that on.

“I am incredibly proud to be standing to continue by dad’s public service.” The by-election takes place in November 25.

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