The Reading Evening Post has already had to correct its report of the sad and untimely death of Cllr Jim Hanley, either not having checked the date he was first elected to Reading Borough Council, or letting themselves be briefed by Lovelock. Before things get even more unseemly let me make some suggestions. First, chair and officers of Reading Labour Party, update your website and Facebook page with an appropriate tribute, or at least mention, at the time of writing the only comments from any Reading Labour figure are in the Reading Evening Post (go figure) and even that organ carries many more comments from figures from other parties. Next, give some support to Jim's nearest and dearest - I remember the deaths of Cllrs Lockey and Wild. Maureen Lockey's widower Alan was thrown to the wolves, with predictable results. He should have been cared for. Wilf was a widower when he died, but his family remember. I was in correspondence with his granddaughter fairly recently. Third, wait for the funeral before plotting the succession. Many were disgusted by the meeting held to plot the imposition of a candidate on Church ward when Maureen died, even before her funeral had been held, and by the fact that the party then failed to commemorate her death with a minute's silence. Jim had said he was standing down, so presumably a candidate is in place. Also, Whitley is unlikely to elect a councillor from a party other than Labour, and for that reason its doors do not get knocked very often. It is not a ward I have ever been interested in, because it is in Reading West. However, knock the doors, for the sake of Jim, who cared about Whitley, if you don't care yourselves. Move the writ for a by-election, I suggest Thursday 31st March or 7th April. Easter is late this year. Don't wait. I promise you this is a good idea. Not only will Whitley get worked, but democratic legitimacy will be tested.
You know it makes sense.