A by-election will be held in Craven ward next month to fill a vacancy left by the death of a district councillor.

The by-election, called by Craven independent councillor Adrian Naylor, is for the seat previously occupied by Coun Michael Kelly.

Coun Kelly died on February 4 this year, aged 70, after losing his battle against a long illness. He had represented the ward for the past decade, and had previously been portfolio holder for children’s services.

The by-election will take place on May 22 – the same day as district-wide council elections. Coun Naylor said he was anxious to call the by-election soon enough for it to be able to take place on May 22, noting that if it was not held on the same day as the district-wide poll, it could cost taxpayers an extra £20,000 to stage.

“We were running out of time to call the by-election and there was only a small window left for it to take place on May 22,” he said.

A spokesman for Bradford Council’s election unit confirmed the by-election will go ahead on this date, adding the deadline for submitting nominations is 4pm on April 24.