Battle royal expected in town centre ward

Former mayor John Beirne is contesting the town centre for Ukip
Former mayor John Beirne is contesting the town centre for Ukip
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Former Mayor John Beirne and ex Tory councillor Nancy Ashcroft are both set to run against a new Labour candidate in the Town Centre ward at next month’s local elections.

Mr Beirne, a former Lib Dem, is set to run for UKIP. Interestingly, no Lib Dem candidate is set to run against him. Lisa Preston will hope to retain the seat for Labour with Coun Carole Ann Gill set to step down due to a health issue.

The former leader of the local Conservative party, Wally Ashcroft, is set to run against Labour’s Sue Murphy in Billinge and Seneley Green and ex Labour councillor Linda Mussell will be hoping to replace David Monk as a Tory councillor for Rainford.

Marie Rimmer, who hopes to be voted the new MP for St Helens South and Whiston in 2015, is set to defend her West Park seat in the May 22 vote.

Elsewhere, Deputy Mayor Geoff Pearl must retain his seat in Eccleston in order to become Mayor of St Helens and local Lib Dem leader Steph Topping will be hoping to defend her seat in Sutton.

Labour councillors including Jeff Fletcher, Terry Shields and Richard McCauley will also be hoping to defend their seats.

Green Party candidates are set to run in 14 of the 16 wards with UKIP candidates set to challenge in 13.

British National Party candidates are set to target the Town Centre, Thatto Heath and Billinge and Seneley Green wards and candidates from the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts party are set to run in both Haydock and Rainford.

g For a full list of candidates, go online at: