The borough’s ruling political party has unveiled the local election candidates it hopes will keep the red rosette as the dominant local force.
The Labour Party has released the list of candidates who will be standing in Wigan and Makerfield when the borough goes to the polls on May 2.
The party suffered a setback last year when it lost five seats, despite its total of 60 representatives easily being the largest on the council, and is hoping for better fortunes this time around. This year’s seats were last contested in May 2015, a year there was also a general election.
Labour is fielding a mixture of experienced candidates hoping for another term in the chamber and newcomers. In Wigan and Makerfield, 11 incumbents are up for election, including a former mayor and two current cabinet members.
Coun Chris Ready, who holds the portfolio for communities and neighbourhoods, is seeking another term in Aspull New Springs Whelley, cabinet member for children and families Coun Jenny Bullen goes to the polls in Ashton, and former first citizen Coun Billy Rotherham seeks the approval of voters in Worsley Mesnes.
Two of the more intriguing races are in Bryn and Hindley Green, where Labour are trying to stop groups of independents claiming all three of the wards’ seats.
The job of maintaing a red rosette presence there falls to community activist Danny Fletcher in Bryn, and well-known environmental campaigner John Vickers in Hindley Green.
Mr Fletcher said: “I have lived in Bryn and Ashton all my life, we need a strong local Labour voice this May. I will fight to protect every inch of our local green space, address the speeding and anti-social motorbike issues and support increasing police on the beat.”
Mr Vickers, who chairs Hindley Green Residents’ Association, said: “I will continue to work with all residents to achieve what they tell me are their priorities, and to keep the green in Hindley Green. I give my guarantee that, if elected as your councillor, I will ensure Hindley Green has a strong voice – your voice – in the town hall.”
Also fighting something of a rearguard action is Coun Stephen Murphy in Orrell, who is looking to retain his seat in a ward where the other two representatives are Conservatives. He said: “I’m always focused on dealing with local people and issues all the time.
“I will never be afraid to take on the difficult issues on behalf of the residents of the ward and have a track record of delivering results for the benefit of all residents.”
In Wigan, a number of stalwart backbenchers are up for re-election while long-time chair of Wigan’s constituency Labour party Sheila Ramsdale is standing for election in Douglas.
The Wigan Post is yet to see the full list of candidates for the Leigh wards, but Atherleigh candidate Coun Mark Aldred has already begun his bid for re-election in Atherleigh. He spoke of his love of helping people and being involved helping the community as he looks to add to his 15-year stint in the chamber.
The full list of Labour candidates for the Wigan and Makerfield wards are: Aspull, New Springs, Whelley – Coun Chris Ready; Douglas – Sheila Ramsdale; Ince – Coun Janice Sharratt; Pemberton – Eileen Rigby; Shevington with Lower Ground – Coun Paul Collins; Standish with Langtree – Debbie Parkinson; Wigan Central – Coun Michael McLoughlin; Wigan West – Coun Stephen Dawber; Abram – Coun Eunice Smethurst; Ashton – Coun Jenny Bullen; Bryn – Danny Fletcher; Hindley – Coun Jim Churton; Hindley Green – John Vickers; Orrell – Coun Stephen Murphy; Winstanley – Coun Marie Morgan; Worsley Mesnes – Coun Billy Rotherham.
The full list of candidates for the elections is out now. To view it, click here and click on the document Statement of Persons Nominated - May 2019.