VOTERS in Bury’s Church and North Manor wards will be voting “at the double” next Thursday when they go to the polls.

Apart from selecting Greater Manchester’s first-ever Police and Crime Commissioner, they will also be voting in Bury Council by-elections to fill a vacant seat in each of the two wards.

The by-elections were triggered by the resignation of Conservative councillors Bob Bibby and Jim Taylor. Both men, who were cleared of corruption charges earlier this year, cited ill health for their decisions.

Mr Bibby had represented Church ward since May 1999 and was leader of Bury Council from 2008 to 2011.

Mr Taylor was elected to represent North Manor in May 2000.

The current make-up of Bury Council in terms of seats is Labour 36, Conservative 12, Liberal Democrats two and Independent one. Nine candidates will contest both wards — four in Church and five in North Manor.

Candidates for Church ward: Bidding to retain the seat for the Conservatives will be Mrs Susan Nuttall, wife of Bury North MP, David. A solicitor and notary public by profession, she was a councillor in Rotherham for six years before moving to Bury. The 52-year-old is a volunteer, director and company secretary with Bury Blind and Partially Sighted People, a member of Bury Lifeboat Guild, a governor of Lowercroft Primary School, Bury, and attends St Anne’s Church, Tottington, where she is a member of the Mothers Union, the social committee and the church hall management committee.

Fighting the seat for Labour will be Ms Sarah Kerrison who lives in Horbury Drive within the Church ward. The 34-year-old is media manager at Bury Transport Museum. She volunteered as a steward for the Olympic Torch Relay and has been involved with both Bury Light Night annual events. A member of a local walking group, she loves exploring the hills and towns of Lancashire.

The candidate for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is Stephen Evans, who has lived in Blackford Avenue, Bury, for the past 36 years. The 61-year-old is married with one son and three grandchildren. An ex-sales manager, having been made redundant after 26 years, he is now working as a delivery driver.

Hoping to win the seat for the Liberal Democrat party is Kamran Islam. The 40-year-old has lived in Radcliffe for the last seven years and previously resided in Rochdale. Married and a father of two young children. Kamran works as a IT network manager for the NHS.

Candidates for North Manor ward: Hoping to retain the seat for the Conservatives is Mr James Daly. The 36-year-old lives in Bury. He is married to Joanne and the couple have two sons, aged three and one. He is a partner with Bury-based solicitors Crompton Halliwell and a governor of St Stephen's Primary School in Bury and Hoyle Nursery School.

Mrs Jean Treadgold, aged 52, is contesting the ward for the Labour Party. She was mayoress in 2006-07 when her husband, Steve, was Bury mayor. She has lived in North Manor for 25 years and has two children, Jessica. aged 29, and 27-year-old Rachael. Mrs Treadgold works in finance and is a volunteer for Marie Curie Cancer and also supports Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and The Dogs Trust.

Peter Entwistle will contest North Manor for UKIP. The 50-year-old single man was educated at Bury Church of England High School and in 2001, as a mature student, he took business and computer studies at Bury College. Self-employed Peter works as an events manager/presenter in the promotions and entertainments business. He was chairman of the former East Bury Sports Association and has just become chairman of UKIP in Bury.

The Liberal Democrat candidate is Ewan Arthur, aged 46. Originally from London, he has lived in the North West since 1998 and resides in Brandlesholme with his wife and two children. Both his youngsters attend Woodhey High School where he is a governor. Mr Arthur works in Huddersfield as a business application developer.

The Green Party is fielding candidate Stewart Hay who has lived in the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor township for more than 20 years. An independent textile specialist, he is married to Jean whom he met while students at Bolton University. While working through from the factory floor to management, Mr Hay said he learned to reduce waste, re-use materials and recycle.

l Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm for both elections. By-elections results will be announced next Thursday night at the Castle Leisure Centre, Bury.

Candidates at a glance: CHURCH Stephen Evans (UK Independence Party) Kamran Islam (Liberal Democrats) Sarah Kerrison (The Labour Party) Susan Nuttall (The Conservative Party) NORTH MANOR Ewan Arthur (Liberal Democrats) James Daly (The Conservative Party) Peter Entwistle (UK Independence Party) Stewart Hay (Green Party) Jean Treadgold (The Labour Party) WHAT THE PARTIES SAY: Cllr Mike Connolly, Bury Council and Labour leader, said: “Thursday November 15 is an opportunity for the people of Bury to send a message to this Tory-led Government. We need politicians who will make fair decisions that reflect the values of the people of Bury. Not like this government who have given millionaires a £40,000 tax cut while raising taxes on pensioners. In the council by-elections, both Labour candidates are the only candidates who live in the ward where they are seeking election. They are part of the communities they will represent and this will allow them to help make transparent and fair decisions that protect the vulnerable. Labour is proud that Bury is a great place to live, work and visit, and are determined to keep the good things in Bury of which we are all proud.”

Cllr Iain Gartside, Conservative group leader, said: "If elected on November 15, I have every confidence that James and Sue will make excellent Conservative councillors for North Manor and Church wards. They have already been supporting local residents over the controversial plans under the current Labour-controlled Bury Council to build on a large scale on green space sites at Spen Moor in Church ward and Gin Hall in North Manor. Both are committed to continue the fight against such developments which are a direct attack on green spaces in our borough.

However, they will also be pressing for job creation and housing to be built on more appropriate brown field sites in our borough."

Cllr Tim Pickstone, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “In these tough economic times, Bury Council is having to make unprecedented decisions about how local services are provided and prioritised.

“These local by-elections are not going to change the fact that Bury Council is run by the Labour Party. What they can do is ensure that there is a strong voice to stand up for the local area, and a strong voice to challenge some of the decisions the council are currently making.

“Everyone understands that savings need to be made, but we believe that those savings need to be made in a way which protect the services that we all rely on from the council. Lib Dem councillors will defend our basic local services.”

UKIP candidates Stephen Evans and Peter Entwistle said: “Bury Council has always been controlled by Labour or Conservatives. Both parties have continually slashed services as well as generally increasing council taxes. Individually, two councillors would be unable to outvote the Labour- controlled council, but it would just be a start, a breath of fresh air around the corridors of Bury Council.

“What we can guarantee is to give immediate attention to requests from our electorate to resolve their council-related problems by taking their concerns to council officers who will respond to the issues we raise on residents’ behalf. Please show your belief in us and we will deliver.”

Green Party candidate Stewart Hay said: “The council has identified sufficient land for employment needs. Yet Gin Hall, in our green belt, is under threat of development. I will fight this and push for the use of already developed sites for incoming employers. A nearby example is the former Paper Mill site in Ramsbottom. Please register your opposition to the council’s plans for Gin Hall before November 30.

“Residents have used the Christ Church field for many years and they have mandated the Friends of Walmersley Village to seek Village Green status. Meanwhile, Christ Church wants to raise funds by selling the field to developers. If elected, I will work with all parties to ensure the field continues as a green space for all to enjoy and to help the church find its required funds.”

l Who are the candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner in Greater Manchester and what they are standing for? See page 8.