Canvassing begins as Wigan election looms
An outspoken music promoter, a former council worker, a controversial comedian and a father and son duo are among those seeking election.
The full list of candidates hoping to become councillors in this May’s local elections has been released.
Voters will go to the polls in all 25 wards with one seat in each up for grabs.
Labour is hoping to maintain its dominance in the Wigan Council chamber as it is defending all but two of the seats available.
The only two politicians not currently wearing the red rosette seeking another term are Debbie Fairhurst, leader of the independents’ group, in Standish and Conservative representative Edward Houlton in Lowton East.
One of the more interesting races promises to be in Hindley Green where gig organiser Paul Maiden, who has previously helped independent ward representative Coun Bob Brierley behind the scenes, is stepping up into frontline politics.
A well-known critic of the town hall on social media, Mr Maiden is also standing on a platform apart from any established party.
He said: “My main concern is the South of Hindley development at the old Turner Brothers site and I’m also keen to work on protecting the Thomas Street recreational football pitch.
“Other issues for me are the three-weekly black bin collection and the potholes.
“I don’t do left/right politics, I deal solely in issues. The misspending in Wigan by Labour has been diabolical and when one party is in complete control it gets lax and comfortable. The other parties aren’t that strong but people seem to vote for independents.
“That’s fine for me because I don’t think as a local councillor you can go into national politics.”
Mr Maiden’s opponents include a new Labour candidate in the shape of Gena Merrett, who hopes to hold Keir Stitt’s seat.
It is all change for the red rosette elsewhere in the borough too, with former town hall officer Susan Gambles swapping the civil service for the chamber in Richard Barber’s Golborne seat, Eileen Rigby stepping up to try to replace David Arrowsmith in Orrell and Anthony Sykes going for the Ashton seat which has been held by long-standing representative Nigel Ash.
Vicky Johnson, meanwhile, will have her second go at becoming the representative for Bryn as her first attempt was in a by-election ruled unlawful by a top judge earlier this year.
Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith is also up for re-election in his Leigh West ward this year.
Labour and the Conservatives are contesting every seat in the borough, with the Liberal Democrats fielding 14 candidates, Ukip six, and the Greens three. A total of 14 independent candidates are also seeking votes.
Those standing outside the major parties include former councillors Jim Ellis and Gareth Fairhurst, who are running again in Hindley and Wigan Central respectively, Ashton campaigner Michael Moulding and abrasive funnyman Jimmy O’Neill who is standing in Ince despite sparking outrage with previous internet comments.
The Conservatives are hoping to make the Leigh area a family affair with both Richard Short and his son Connor seeking election.
The full list of candidates for the local elections on May 3:
Abram: Beverley Bridgewater (Con), Carl Sweeney (Lab), Frank Swift (Ukip).
Ashton: Gillian Gibson (Ukip), Geoffrey Matthews (Lib Dems), Michael Moulding (Ind), Anthony Sykes (Lab), Marie Winstanley (Con).
Aspull New Springs Whelley: Ron Conway (Lab), Andrew Holland (Lib Dems), Michael Owens (Con).
Astley Mosley Common: Richard Short (Con), Barry Taylor (Lab), Stuart Thomas (Lib Dem).
Atherleigh: Paul Fairhurst (Con), Lorraine Gillon (Lib Dem), Debra Wailes (Lab), Anthony Waite (Ind Network).
Atherton: Karen Aldred (Lab), Marjorie Clayton (Con), Stuart Gerrard (Ind Network).
Bryn: Judith Atherton (Con), Andrew Collinson (Ind), Philip Hayden (Ukip), Vicky Johnson (Lab), Denise Melling (Lib Dem).
Douglas: Margaret Atherton (Con), Shirley Dewhurst (Lab).
Golborne Lowton West: Susan Gambles (Lab), William Heaton (Ind), Gerard Houlton (Con).
Hindley: Jim Ellis (Ind), Neil Hancox (Green), John Skipworth (Lib Dem), Jim Talbot (Lab), Margaret Winstanley (Con).
Hindley Green: Jonathan Cartwright (Con), Paul Maiden (Ind), Gena Merrett (Lab), John Thomason (Lib Dem).
Ince: Yamini Gupta (Con), James Moodie (Lab), Jimmy O’Neill (Ind).
Leigh East: John Dowsett (Lib Dem), Fred Walker (Lab), Denise Young (Con).
Leigh South: Charles Rigby (Lab), Connor Short (Con).
Leigh West: Richard Houlton (Con), Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves (Ind), Natalie Smalley (Lib Dem), Peter Smith (Lab).
Lowton East: Ed Houlton (Con), Garry Lloyd (Lab).
Orrell: Denise Capstick (Lib Dem), Richard Clayton (Con), Eileen Rigby (Lab).
Pemberton: Susan Atherton (Con), David Burley (Lib Dem), Paul Prescott (Lab).
Shevington with Lower Ground: Allan Atherton (Con), Janet Brown (Shevington Ind), Mike Crosby (Lab), Joseph Rylance (Green).
Standish with Langtree: Debbie Fairhurst (Standish Ind), Adam Marsh (Con), Debbie Parkinson (Lab).
Tyldesley: Julian Marsh (Ind), Joanne Marshall (Lab), David Stirzaker (Con).
Wigan Central: George Davies (Lab), Lewis Evans (Con), Gareth Fairhurst (Wigan Ind), Tony Spencer (Ind), Caroline Waddicor (Lib Dem).
Wigan West: Ronnie Clark (Democrats and Veterans), Phyll Cullen (Lab), Jean Peet (Con), Nathan Ryding (Ukip).
Winstanley: Steven Heyes (Green), Clive Morgan (Lab), Daniel Singleton (Ukip), Neil Stevenson (Lib Dem), Daniel Whitehouse (Con).
Worsley Mesnes: Paul Chapman (Con), Joshua Hindle (Lib Dem), Lynne Holland (Lab), Maureen McCoy (Ukip).