THE final list of candidates to fight a by-election in Ramsbottom can now be revealed.
Five candidates will stand, with Sarah Southworth representing Labour, Robert Hodkinson for the Conservatives, David Foss for the Liberal Democrats, Glyn Heath for the Green Party and Dave Barker for the UK Independence Party.
The election, which will take place on March 6, was triggered by the resignation of Labour councillor Joanne Columbine, who resigned for family reasons.
She was elected in extraordinary circumstances in 2011 after drawing lots against her Conservative rival Robert Hodkinson, who will stand for the Tories again.
Labour’s representative Sarah Southworth is a chartered accountant and has a wedding dress business with branches in Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. She is married and has a 12-year-old son.
In addition she works as a finance manager for a not-for-profit digital arts organisation based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
She replaced Mark Riddell, who was due to stand as Labour’s candidate, but pulled out due to work pressures.
Mrs Southworth said: “My knowledge of business and publicly funded organisations and the cuts facing the council will help me to hit the ground running if elected.
“Being selected as a Labour candidate for Ramsbottom is a privilege. Ramsbottom is where my shop is, a thriving town with local businesses at its heart, and I will work hard to support it.”
Dr Glyn Heath will represent the Green Party and is a lecturer in prosthetics and orthotics at Salford University. He is currently involved in developing new artificial limbs and has previously set up for clinics for amputee refugees in war zones.
He has lived in Bury North for 21 years, is married and has a daughter who works as a midwife.
He previously served as a Labour councillor in Elton ward from 1995-1999, and lost his seat shortly after quitting Labour to join the local Environment and Wildlife party.
Dr Heath said, if elected, his priorities would be to campaign against the ‘bedroom tax’, to call for more decisions to be made at a township level and to ensure air quality concerns, are investigated by independent environmental scientists.