VOTERS in Halton Castle in Runcorn go to the polls today (Thursday) to elect the borough's newest councillor.

Labour, Conservatives, The Green Party, Liberal Democrats and one Independent candidate are all vying for the seat, with polling stations set to close at 10pm and the winner announced shortly after.

The by-election was called following the death of Labour’s Harry Howard in September. He had represented the ward since 2006 and passed away following a short illness at the age of 75.

Hoping to win the seat for Labour again will be  Sharon Thornton from Runcorn.

Prior to Covid, she had set up the Community Cafe in Phoenix Park and when Covid hit, provided hot meals to people in the Castlefields, Halton Village and The Brow communities.

For the Conservatives, Danny Clarke will be hoping to turn the seat blue. He has run in several Halton local elections since 2015 and said he wants to give the council 'a wake up call'. The Conservatives currently have two councillors in Halton. 

Former soldier Anthony Dalton, who served for 10 years in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, will be running for the Liberal Democrats, who are currently the borough's largest opposition party with three councillors.

For  the Greens, Iain Ferguson will be hoping to become the party’s second Halton councillor, following in the footsteps of Andrew Dyer, who took the Daresbury, Moore and Sandymoor seat in May.

Independent candidate Darrin Whyte did not respond to requests for comment, but has run in several Halton local elections before. Writing on his Facebook page, he has pledged to put local people and issues first if elected.

Polling stations will be open at The Brow Community Primary School,  Castlefields Community Centre and St Marys Halton Ce Primary School between 7am and 10pm.