ROBERT Hodkinson has been chosen as the Conservative candidate for the Ramsbottom by-election, to be held on March 6.

Mr Hodkinson was selected at a meeting of the town’s branch of the Bury North Conservative Association following the resignation of Labour councillor Joanne Columbine.

Mrs Columbine won the seat three years ago after drawing straws with Mr Hodkinson, who received an equal number of votes.

Coun Ian Bevan, who represents Ramsbottom, said: “Rob lives in Whittingham Drive, Ramsbottom, with his wife, Mary-Ann. They have two daughters. Rob and his wife established their small independent business in Bridge Street many years ago and continue to have a thriving local business.

“He spends most of his spare time volunteering with Ramsbottom Business Group, where he is treasurer, and helps organise a variety of events and festivals in the town. I am happy to fully support Rob and hope he gets the opportunity to join me on Bury Council in the very near future.”