Labour narrowly avoids defeat in Wigan’s Atherleigh ward after facing opposition from independent candidates

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

Labour long-standing candidate Susan Loudon’s hopes came true last night at the Wigan elections after voters put their trust in her, again.

Mrs Loudon was hopeful that she would win against two independent candidates Stuart Andrew Gerrard and Jim Kerfoot.

Mr Gerrard, who was standing for the first time, locked horns with the labour candidate and attacked her politics.

He said: “I want people to see what damage Labour are actually doing in Atherleigh and in Atherton. People are disenchanted for being let down. I am open for change.

“I have been campaigning for some time and I hope it goes well. Thank you to the voters for putting their trust in me.”

Mrs Luton responded to her rival’s attack, and said: “When you look at their leaflets and the lies they have written about our leaflets – personal insults. People like that should not be representing people.

“I am hopeful but we should never ever be too confident. We should never ever treat it as foregone conclusions so I will wait and see.”

After the declaration of the results she said: “I am relieved. It was close. It is people’s voice. I have worked very hard, long-hours. It has paid off.”

Mrs Luton received 982 votes compared to the 747 votes casted for Mr Gerrard. Third and last candidate Jim Kerfoot, independent, scored 343 votes. Turnout for the ward was only 23.83.

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