THE General election might have only just finished, but some residents of Brent will be back in the polling booths as early as June 16. Nominations have just closed for council by-elections in Fryent and Preston wards, and the major parties are all fielding candidates.

The candidates for the Preston ward will be: Alan Mendoza (Conservative), Wilhelmina Mitchell-Murray (Labour), Uday Pandya (Lib Dem) and Shahrar Ali (Green). Standing in Fryent are Ruth Moher (Labour), Sue-Ellen Fernandes (Conservative), Mehul Shah (Lib Dem) and Peter Murry (Green). The first postal votes will be issued on June 2 and the last date to apply for a postal or proxy vote is June 8.

The Fryent result is expected to be especially unpredictable as it lies in the parliamentary constituency of Brent East, traditionally a Labour stronghold but which returned Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather on May 5 with an increased majority.

The by-elections follow the untimely deaths of two councillors: Conservative Tom Taylor and Labour Asish Sengupta. Councillor Taylor, who died from artery failure aged 61, had represented Preston on the council since 1979. A career accountant, he was also a governor for John Kelly and Oakington Manor schools and a trustee of St Luke's Hospice, and served as Mayor of Brent in 1991/2.

Councillor Sengupta, who died two weeks ago aged 66, represented Fryent for seven years. A full-time worker for Age Concern, he was heavily involved with community work and formerly chaired the voluntary sector and grants user forum.