AN ELECTION is due to be held to fill the vacancy on Torfaen Council following the death of Cllr Tom Gould.

Cllr Gould, who represented the Snatchwood ward, died in April at the age of 85. He had been unwell for some time.

The councillor from Pontnewynydd was elected in 2008, when he was a member of the now disbanded People’s Voice.

A keen poet, Cllr Gould wrote about his many interests including bird-keeping, wildlife, nature and current affairs, following the tragic death of his only grandchild Dafydd Birt, and published a collection of his poems last Christmas.

Cllr Gould was born in Pontypool in 1925 and began working life at the age of 14 in Central Forge Tinplate works in Pontypool. He joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer and served on board HMS Maidstone – the first British ship to enter Hong Kong harbour at the end of the Second World War to pick up surviving prisoners of war. The councillor then returned to work at the tinplate works after the war and later worked at Pontnewynydd Steelworks until its closure in 1962.

He also worked for a time as a labourer and later as a refuse collector for the council. He was a widower with two children.

A notice of election was published on Tuesday calling for nominations for the vacancy. Nomination papers are available from the returning officer at Pontypool civic centre, between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, or 8.30am to 4.30pm on a Friday. Completed nominations must be returned by noon on June 29.

If the election is contested a poll will take place on July 26 between 7am and 10pm.