Ex-mayors to battle it out for council seat
9:22am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
TWO former Horwich mayors — including one who has been convicted of benefit fraud — will go head-to-head over a council seat next week.
The vote has to take place after a town councillor was voted out because he had failed to attend meetings for six months.
Nicholas Cornthwaite was elected Liberal Democrat town councillor at the last election, but he has not been to meetings, or apologised and councillors voted to remove him.
The nominees include former town councillor and mayor Bernard McCartin, who was convicted of benefit fraud in 2009.
Mr McCartin, aged 70, is the Liberal Democrat’s candidate.
He will face another former town councillor, Ken Denton, aged 68, a former Liberal Democrat councillor, who is standing for Labour.
Mr Denton, who was Mayor of Horwich in 2007/08, retired from the town council after eight years due to ill health two years ago.
But after a good recovery, he wants to represent the town again.
The empty Horwich Town Council seat in Bridge ward will be filled on March 21, when town councillors vote for their preferred choice. Councillors will also be deciding who to elect to a second empty seat, in Lever Park ward, following the retirement of Kieran McGeehan.
The empty seats will be filled by co-option, when councillors decide, rather than a by-election after no members of the public requested an election.
His seat is being contested by Richard Silvester, a Labour councillor for Bolton Council representing Horwich North East ward, and Anne Galloway, who is standing for the Conservatives.
Mr McCartin said his conviction for benefit fraud, which was while he was Mayor in 2007, was “in the past”. He added: “I have paid my debt to society.” The former special constable and ex-serviceman, added: “I do a lot for Horwich and want to represent the people of Horwich again.”
His rival Mr Denton said he stepped down because he was unwell, and now wanted to return.
Mr Cornthwaite, who is in his early 20s, is believed to have had work commitments and been unable to attend Horwich meetings.
Cllr Roger Hayes, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group in Bolton, said he had confidence in Mr McCartin.
He added: “I have got no doubt that he is a very committed person and will do an excellent job.”