Final four revealed for Wigan Council by-election battle

Voters will be able to choose who sits in the council chamber at Wigan Town Hall
Voters will be able to choose who sits in the council chamber at Wigan Town Hall

Four candidates will head out on the campaign trail as voters head to the ballot box for a controversial by-election.

The occupant of a seat in the council chamber for Bryn will be settled on February 22 even though independent politician Steve Jones is still contesting Wigan Council’s assertion that he resigned.

Read more: Threat of court action over Wigan councillor's chamber exit

Despite that he is in the running to keep his seat, standing against Vicky Johnson for Labour, Judith Atherton for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrat Denise Melling.

Mr Jones made it clear that by taking part he was not admitting the town hall was right about his departure.

He said: “I will be running a clean campaign about what I do here in Bryn for this community.

“I believe only an independent can truly represent Bryn. I think it will be a real statement to Wigan Council to win this.

“I wish everybody good luck.”

Ms Johnson, who has helped to organise the BIG Festival in Jubilee Park and Bryn’s Christmas lights event, will hope to reverse Labour’s showing in 2016 when it came second.

She said: “The last few months has seen me speak with hundreds of residents on the doorsteps and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’ve been meeting local community groups and organisations over the last few months discussing what matters to them and their priorities for Bryn.

“It is clear people want a Labour councillor who can work with other elected representatives to achieve the best deal for the area.”

Ms Melling said: “I am honoured to have been selected as the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for the Bryn by-election.

“I have lived in the area for over 40 years and care deeply about our home and the people who live here and make it what it is.

“I pledge to fight for residents’ concerns and promote their voice to hold Wigan Council to account over the threat to our green spaces, bin collections and larger issues that affect not only Bryn but our borough as a whole.”