A FORMER Liberal Democrat borough councillor says Labour is not giving Westhoughton a “fair deal” as he looks to defy the odds by securing victory at the forthcoming elections.
David Wilkinson, a Westhoughton town councillor who last served on Bolton Council in 2010, is targeting Westhoughton South on May 22 despite his party’s consistent punishment in the polls since entering government.
He said he still believed the seat would be fought on local issues and that he hoped his 30 years of service to Westhoughton, having first been elected to Bolton Council in 1984, would sway the balance Labour’s Cllr Kevan Jones, coming to the end of his first term in the ward, said he is “upbeat” ahead of the election but vowed to continue working hard for residents.
He said he is expect a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, who will be represented by Les Wareing in the ward.
The line-up is completed by Stephen Wallen for the Conservatives and Derek Bullock for the English Democrats.
Cllr Wilkinson said: “The Labour Bolton Council does not give Westhoughton a fair deal. It quite happily takes millions off rate payers here but gives them nothing back.
“What I have done for the last 30 years since I was first elected in 1984 is fight to ensure Westhoughton gets a fair deal.
“I still believe this election will be won or lost on local issues.”
Cllr Jones, who has distributed 5,000 leaflets and walks on each street of his ward every month, said: “I am quite upbeat ahead of this but I don’t count my chickens and I will still be working hard as I have done over the last four years for this town.
“I know I have stiff competition from the Liberals and UKIP, but I will do my best and am looking forward to being re-elected to serve another term if the people of this town think I have done a good job.”
Mr Wallen, for the Conservatives, said: “We want to make sure the people of Westhoughton get a fair deal from the council, that is why I am standing.
“I am born and bred in Bolton and it upsets me the way the town is going. Too much is getting run down.”
Mr Wareing, the 59-year-old UKIP candidate, said: “I have seen many changes over the years including a massive over-development in housing with no improvement to the infrastructure to support the additional homes.”