By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
The date for two by-elections has been set following the death of district and county councillor Maureen Dobson.
Cllr Dobson, whose death was confirmed by her family on December 1, represented the Collingham ward on both Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Now the district council has confirmed both authorities will hold a by-election in the area on Thursday, February 17.
Tributes were paid to the longstanding councillor following her death, with council officials and fellow councillors describing her as “dedicated and formidable”.
She was also described as a “beloved, devoted mother, grandmother, niece, friend and committed public servant”.
Confirming the by-election will take place, a Newark and Sherwood District Council statement said the deadline for registering to vote is Tuesday, February 1.
Cllr Dobson served as an independent on Newark and Sherwood District Council during various periods between 1978 and 2021.
She also represented Collingham on Nottinghamshire County Council between 2013 and last year, successfully retaining the seat in May 2021’s election.
She sat most recently on the county council’s personnel and transport and environment committees, to which the authority’s chief executive Anthony May praised her “significant contribution to the work of the council”.
Cllr Neil Clarke (Con), chairman of the transport and environment committee, paid tribute to her work at the council and led a one-minute silence before last Wednesday’s meeting (January 5).
He said: “She was a very forthright person and made some substantial contributions to the work of this committee. She will be very sadly missed because she made some very valuable contributions.
“I think it’s appropriate to stand for a few moments in tribute to Maureen.”
Speaking after her death was confirmed, Cllr Dobson’s daughter Rebecca Blackwood released a statement on behalf of the family.
She said: “We are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved, Maureen Dobson, devoted mother, grandmother, niece, friend and committed public servant.
“Throughout Maureen’s life her character, independent principles, humour and optimism never wavered. She had an infinite capacity to get things done for others whilst she privately battled cancer.
“Her family and friends thank everyone for the expressions of love and support they have received.”
Alongside her work in politics, she was also a trustee of Headway Lincolnshire, Newark Community First Aid, and St Leonards Hospital Trust, and was also a supporter of the Trent Vale Trail.
Collingham residents currently on the voting register can sign up to vote in the by-elections by visiting the Government’s voter registration website or by searching ‘register to vote’.