THE candidates standing in an ‘unnecessary’ borough council by-election in Burtonwood and Winwick have been confirmed.

Labour’s Alex Abbey, Conservative Paul Campbell and independent Trevor Nicholls, a former chairman of UKIP Warrington, will battle for the seat on February 6.

The by-election comes following the death of former council leader Terry O’Neill.

It will be held three months before the seat is once again contested in the all-out elections in the town.

Last week, Mr Abbey said he wants to see the area thrive.

He added: “If I’m elected on February 6, I’ll be committed to ensuring that the council delivers the best possible service for people throughout Burtonwood and Winwick.”

Former borough councillor Mr Campbell told residents he will bring his experience to the table and work hard for them on issues including housing development.

He said: “We need councillors who will scrutinise the local plan when it comes back in June and are prepared to protect the green belt, searching for alternative sites for development where we can build affordable housing.

“We also need to ensure empty properties are turned around in the quickest possible time to a high standard for the most in need in our community.

“The Parkside rail freight interchange is a huge issue for the residents of Winwick and Hermitage Green and we must continue to fight this.

“Traffic congestion and the problems that it brings such as air pollution needs addressing throughout the ward.”

But the Liberal Democrats or Green Party will not be fielding candidates.

Cllr Bob Barr, leader of the town’s Liberal Democrats, said: “As a matter of principle it is our policy to contest all borough council by-elections unless there are special circumstances.

“In this case we think there are special circumstances.

“There will be only three months to go before the all-out elections in May and we think calling this by-election now is unnecessary.

“It costs a lot of money to hold and there are so many ways that the money could be better spent for the residents of the town.”

Lyndsay McAteer, deputy leader of the Greens, said: “This is not an election which our group wishes to get involved in.

“We are strong advocates of local democracy, but we don’t think this is a sensible course of action due to an identical election taking place for this ward just three months later.”