TRIBUTES have been paid to a “dedicated” parish councillor and district council election candidate who has died.

Weeley parish councillor Anita Bailey, from Second Avenue, Weeley, was due to stand for election to Tendring Council's St Osyth ward on May 2.

The election for the seat has now been rescheduled for May 23, in line with election law.

Neil Stock, leader of the council’s Conservative group, said: “The Conservative family are very upset and grieving at this time.

“Anita was a strong candidate and worked really hard for the Conservative Party.

“She was a parish councillor and a dedicated local person, committed to working hard for Tendring.

“It’s a tragic loss.”

Ian Davidson, Tendring Council’s returning officer, said voters in St Osyth will be issued with a new polling card with the new details, and a new timeline of key dates for candidate nominations and voter registration will be publicised.

He added: “Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the candidate.

“In accordance with election law, the poll for St Osyth ward has been countermanded and held at a later date.”

Existing nominations, except for the deceased candidate, will carry forward.

They include Tracey Osben (Lab), Mick Skeels (Con), Michael Talbot (Ind) and John White (Ind).

Voters in the Point Clear ward of St Osyth Parish Council will still be heading to the polls on May 2 to vote on which of the six candidates will take up the five seats available on the parish council.

Following Miss Bailey’s death, Tendring Council’s chairman Mark Platt has moved the date of the annual council meeting – when the new chairman, leader, cabinet members and committee membership is agreed – to May 28 so that all the newly elected councillors will be present.

The upcoming election will see the number of Tendring district councillors cut from 60 to 48 following a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission last year.

Voters must be registered by Friday to be eligible to vote in local elections.