AN independent candidate bidding to cause a shock in next month's by-election has pledged to battle to keep Penketh Library open.

The election for the Penketh and Cuerdley borough council seat – which comes after former councillor Allin Dirir sadly died following a stroke – will take place on October 11.

The six-way battle for the seat will see independent Geoff Fellows go up against Labour's Kenny Watson, Conservative Phil Hayward, Liberal Democrat Dave Crowther, the Green Party’s Steph Davies and UKIP’s Ian Wilson.

Mr Fellows, who is a Penketh parish councillor, has set out his pledges.

He said: "All the libraries in Warrington have been under threat due to financial restraints but I will do all I can to work alongside the Friends of Penketh Library and the working group to keep our library open and get a fair deal for the building's upkeep and maintenance.

"The library is more than just a place to borrow books – it plays, alongside the pool, a vital part in the social lives of our ageing population and of the increasing number of young families in the area.

"I will do the best for Penketh because I hold no affiliation with one political party.

"I believe we need to treat the parish council as a business, so we know exactly where and how our money is being spent and making this information more accessible.

"I am well aware that you want to see improvements to all our public green spaces and I know many of you are concerned about the misuse of these areas by young people.

"We desperately need to provide a safe and welcoming space for the youth of the area to spend their free time."

Two seats are also up for grabs on Penketh Parish Council on October 11.

Vickie Dunne and Laura Watson are standing for Labour, Phil Hayward and Lawrence Worswick for the Conservatives, and Christine Wych and Craig Lenihan as independents.

Ms Wych said: "I will work to ensure that the amenities, including the baths, the library and the recreation areas, remain in existence not only for my own grandchildren but also for future generations.

“I think everyone in Penketh should have a voice and I believe I can help to achieve this as an independent member of the parish council team, which I am certain would benefit from a fresh input of ideas and views.”

Mr Lenihan labelled Penketh as a 'fantastic place' to live.

He added: "One thing that became apparent is that many people feel like their voice is not heard on matters relating to our community.

“I wanted to run as an independent candidate as I do not feel party politics has any place when dealing with local matters and can often have a negative impact.”