(l-r) Debbie Darby, Jennifer Kaye and Jack Kellas.

Following the death of County and District Councillor Maureen Dobson, three candidates go to head-to-head in a poll to fill the vacancy in Collingham.

Debbie Darby (Independent), Jennifer Kaye (Labour) and Jack Kellas (Conservative) are vying for the seat ahead of voters heading to the polls on February 17 to cast their vote.

This comes following the death of Cllr Dobson on November 30, 2021.

Cllr Dobson served as an independent on Newark and Sherwood District Council during various periods between 1978 and 2021.

The late Maureen Dobson.

A district council vote will also be held on the same day.

Debbie Darby – Independent

Debbie Darby, 52, is a mother to six, she has lived in the area for nearly 20 years.

She said she has the passion and experience to build on the legacy of the late Cllr Dobson.

“My priorities include fighting for better health provision including improving services at Newark Hospital including returning A&E and bringing maternity services back, improving ambulance waiting times, fixing our broken roads and pavements, making them safer, fighting for more police and improving our buses,” she said.

“The Tories are proposing two A46 bypass routes around Newark that have will devastating consequences.

“It’s suspicious that they have delayed the announcement on which route they are choosing until after the election.

“I will work to support the residents solution that is acceptable for Winthorpe and our villages.

“The Collingham Division of Notts County Council has a tradition of electing strong-willed Independents.

“People like me who will put our town and villages ahead of party politics as we recover from successive COVID-19 lockdowns.

“I will be the strong Independent voice that we deserve as more and more local people – including Labour voters – put their trust in me to beat the Conservatives.”

Jennifer Kaye (Labour)

Another candidate who agrees the A46 expansion has negative consequences, Mrs Kaye, 29, has lived in Newark for three and a half years and currently works for a charity.

Mrs Kaye also plays for Newark Town Band.

She said: “I am running to be county councillor for Collingham because I believe a councillor should represent those that live in the division, by listening to, talking to and working for them.

“I want to be councillor because I will be this for the people of Collingham.

“As councillor I will work to stop the A46 expansion and look to other, greener ways to reduce traffic.

I will work to ensure our green spaces are protected so that our future generations can enjoy the trees and parks we do, and I will work to make roads safer for cyclists and improve our play areas for the young people of Collingham.”

Jack Kellas (Conservatives) 

Mr Kellas, 19, is currently a district councillor for the Bridge Ward – which lies within the division – and a trustee of three local charities.

He served in the Youth Parliament from December 2019 to April 2021, and attempted to use his role to ‘help alleviate political apathy amongst young people’.

The teenager grew up in the area, and claims that’s what motivates him to support his local community.

“Having grown up in the area, and lived in the division for most of my life, I take great pride in my local community – striving to make it an even better place to live, work and play, said Mr Kellas.

“I thoroughly enjoy representing my area on the district council, working hard to deliver for local residents.

“Over the last six months, I have been seen to build a record of action, by standing for the Collingham Division at County Council, I pledge a promise of more action.

“Whether that be fighting for better road repairs to keep our communities connected, pushing for further investment in flood relief in our villages, or looking at the possibility of speed calming measures where we see there is an issue.

“I am standing to be a strong voice for residents in every corner of our patch, working with colleagues, working for the people,” he added.