HALSTEAD Labour Party has selected its candidate for the Halstead Division in this May's Essex County Council elections.

Garry Warren, a former firefighter of 30 years’ service and former Town Councillor, has lived in Halstead since 1986 and believes local people need a strong voice on Essex County Council.

The Labour candidate has begun leafleting, focussing on issues relating to police, the NHS and education.

Speaking after his nomination, Garry spoke about the campaign to come, he said: “We’ve seen a real change in Halstead recently, with the closure of the police station, cuts to frontline officers and an upsurge in burglaries and even armed robberies.

"If the Tories keep cutting, these problems will get worse.

"We need a strong local voice to represent the people of Halstead and fight for better services and funding. It’s time to properly fund the NHS, GP and social care services.

"It’s time to oppose the cuts in funding for the Ramsey Academy and our local primary schools.

“We’ve started leafleting and talking to local people and I’m very much looking forward to arguing Labour’s case on the doorsteps.”

Garry will be going head-to-head with Joanne Beavis, the Conservative candidate for the Halstead division.

The pair are both vying to replace the late Jo Pike, who served Essex County Council for 39 years before passing in December.

The highly regarded Councillor served Halstead from 1989.

The elections will take place on May 4.