Date set for by-election after legal threat forces Wigan councillor to resign

Voters in one area of Wigan will soon go to the polls to select their next councillor.
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A date has been set for a by-election in Bryn after independent representative Steve Jones announced he would be standing down.

A notice of casual vacancy was published by Wigan Council last month and it has now been confirmed that the vote will take place on Thursday, November 25.

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Nomination papers for anyone wishing to stand in the by-election must be submitted to the town hall by Friday, October 29.

Coun Steve JonesCoun Steve Jones
Coun Steve Jones

Anyone wishing to vote, who is not already registered, should apply online before midnight on Tuesday, November 9.

Coun Jones had thought about quitting after community organisations he was running encountered financial difficulties in July.

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Wigan councillor announces resignation after threat of legal challenge

But a huge response from residents, who said he should carry on as a councillor, led to second thoughts.

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However, last month it was revealed that someone had challenged his decision to stay and threatened to take legal action against the council, so he had to resign.

A joint statement released by Coun Jones and the council said: “Wigan Council has developed a culture of kindness and compassion among its workforce and elected members. At the time of his resignation, Coun Steve Jones was under a lot of pressure, which is why the resignation was not accepted immediately to give time for reflection and proper consideration.

“Unfortunately, this decision has been challenged by an individual who is threatening legal action against the council. Therefore, in the interest of taxpayers and in agreement with Coun Jones, we have no choice but to accept the resignation.”

Coun Jones added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as a local councillor and have been involved in some great community projects. I’d like to thank my constituents for voting me into office and my colleagues at the council for all their support over the last five years. I’d like to thank the council for all the help and support they’ve given me, especially Alison who has always shown me and other members nothing but kindness.”

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It will be the second by-election in the borough in recent weeks, after a poll was held in Leigh West for the seat left vacant by the death of Lord Peter Smith, who was also leader of Wigan Council for 27 years.

That was retained by Labour when Samantha Brown topped the poll. She described it as a “truly humbling moment” and paid tribute to the decades of service by Lord Smith.

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