A FORMER soldier is hoping to win a seat for the Liberal Democrats at the upcoming Runcorn by-election.

Anthony Dalton has been picked to stand as the party’s representative in Halton Castle when local voters go to the polls on November 25.

A by-election is usually held either after the death or resignation of a councillor, with a Halton Castle seat left vacant following the death of long-standing Labour councillor Harry Howard in September.

The Greens, Liberal Democrats, Labour, Conservatives and one independent candidate will all be contesting the ward.

The Lib Dems are currently the borough's largest opposition party with three councillors and Mr Dalton - who served for 10 years in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards - hopes to join their ranks

He said: “I care deeply about local issues and feel the frustrations, like many others do, about the lack of facilities for local residents.”

He identfied things such as litter, what he said was the loss of doctors and resources at Halton Hospital, and what he called the decline of facilities in the Shopping City and the Old Town as issues which needed to be addressed.

He added: “There is the continual problem of local low-level crime, which needs to be stamped out by the community working alongside the police.”

Mr Dalton, who lives locally and has family in the ward, said the party was also committed to do more to protect the environment.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats fully understand what bold measures must be taken to ensure a clean, green and carbon-free future and will challenge and support measures to achieve this for the UK.”

If elected he said he will provide ‘an alternative voice’ on a council 'dominated by the Labour Party'.

He added: “Halton Council does need an alternative voice.”

The other candidates standing on November 25 are Danny Clarke (Conservative), Sharon Thornton (Labour), Darrin Whyte (independent) and Iain Ferguson (Green).