Candidates go head-to-head in power fight

Sue Ridyard and (below) Bill Greene

Sue Ridyard and (below) Bill Greene

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Seven candidates are set to fight a by-election in Blackpool later this month.

Voters will go to the polls in Highfield ward on September 26 following the decision by former Labour councillor Chris Maughan to step down.

Bill Greene

Bill Greene

Sue Ridyard, who lost her Layton seat at the 2011 local elections, is hoping to win Highfield back for the Conservatives who are already represented in the ward by Coun Lily Henderson.

David Slattery-Christy, of Blackpool South Conservatives, said: “Sue is an experienced candidate and former Blackpool Conservative councillor with a great deal to offer the ward and its constituents.”

Labour has selected Peter Hunter, who is president of Blackpool Trades Council, while Bill Greene will fight the seat for the Liberal Democrats.

The latter was a member of Fylde Council for 15 years and has also previously contended the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Parliamentary seat.

Coun Doug Green, who is currently the lone Lib Dem on Blackpool Council, said: “Bill now wishes to bring his experience as a people’s champion to the residents of Highfield ward.”

Shereen Reedman is from the Green Party Stop Fracking Now, while Stephen Flanigan is contesting the election for the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

There are also two independent candidates – Rob Mottershead, and South Shore hotelier Chris Maher.

Recent university graduate Mr Maughan, 24, stepped down from the council in order to take up a job working for the Labour party in Leicestershire.

Tories lost seat last time around

Before the 2011 local elections, both Highfield ward seats had been held by the Conservatives.

But Susan Fowler lost her place on Blackpool Council after she attracted 777 votes compared to Chris Maughan’s 849.

Veteran Tory councillor Lily Henderson topped the poll with 868 votes.During the last two years Coun Henderson has worked with Mr Maughan to promote issues including encouraging more youngsters to take up sport, with free tennis lessons in Highfield Park among the initiatives.

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