Political wounds will be reopened in Dedworth - when the bitter battle that saw the Royal Borough's ruling Tories win back Clewer North after two decades is fought all over again.

The surprise resignation of Cllr John Collins after just two years means that a by-election will now be held on May 4.

Ill feeling erupted two years when Conservatives won all three seats on the ward - ousting Independent councillors supported by the West Windsor Residents Association.

The Tory victory caused great bitterness as the ward had been held by non-Tories for well over two decades.

The death of one Independent councillor and retirement of the other two forced the Residents Association to field unfamiliar new candidates.

At the same time a married couple not endorsed by the Residents Association also stood as Independent candidates - splitting the non-Tory vote.

They had been nominated by an existing Conservative councillor leading to angry claims of a 'plot'.

This week Kevin Chapman, who is chairman of West Windsor RA and one of the new candidates who failed to be elected two years ago, said: "This is an opportunity to get our act together and try to put right what went wrong two years ago."

He said he saw no point in digging up the recent past by focussing on the dispute over the last election.

But he said: "We need to be learning lessons from the last time and that means making sure that the name of our candidate is plastered all over the area so everyone knows who they are.

"We will be doing our utmost to ensure the people of West Windsor have a voice."

Meanwhile, Mr Collins is understood to have stood down for personal reasons - his image having already been erased from the Royal Borough website.

The council's deputy leader Cllr Phill Bicknell admitted that all he knew from Mr Collins was that he was standing down for personal reasons.

Cllr Bicknell said: Peoples' personal circumstances change from time to time and you can't guarantee anyone's long term position.

"While it is disappointing and causes people a lot of work you have to be mindful of the individual."