The venue for Epping Forest's General Election count has been moved from a school after one pupil was killed and others hurt in a hit and run crash.

Debden Park High School, in Willingale Road, Loughton, was originally the venue for the count but was changed following the hit and run incident in which 12-year-old student Harley Watson was killed on Monday, December 2.

Roding Valley High School on Alderton Hill, Loughton, will now hold the Epping Forest count after voting on Thursday.

A statement from Epping Forest District Council said: “As a result of the tragic events this week at Debden Park High School we have decided, as a mark of respect, to move next Thursday’s Election Count Centre to a new location at Roding Valley High School.”

“Our elections staff are pulling out all the stops to ensure the count runs as smoothly as ever.”

The change to the count centre does not affect any of the polling stations due to open at 7am this Thursday morning, through until 10pm.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Hundreds of tributes have been left outside Debden Park High School following the fatal hit and run on Monday, December 2

Georgina Blakemore, acting returning officer for the Epping Forest constituency, said: “We were all shocked and saddened by the incident outside the school on Monday and felt that in order to support the school at this difficult time we should find another location for this major event

“At short notice Roding Valley High School has kindly agreed to step in to allow us to hold the election count there and we are extremely grateful to them for their support.”

She added: “We are sure all the candidates, agents and others taking part in the election will appreciate the special circumstances of this late change of venue and bear with us as we put all the new last-minute changes in place.”

Sharon Jenner, headteacher of Roding Valley High School, issued a statement on the school’s website.

She said: “As a school and a community we are devastated to hear that as a result of the tragic incident in Willingale Road this afternoon, we can report that a student from Debden Park High School has sadly died.

“Our thoughts remain with the family and all those affected in the Debden and Loughton community.”

Those officially attending the count should access the centre via the rear entrance to the school in Brook Road.

If using a SatNav or mobile phone use the postcode IG10 1BW, the entrance is opposite number 16.