LABOUR has chosen its candidate for Otley's forthcoming by-election.

Liz Carr will stand for the party when the Town Council election, to fill a vacancy in West Chevin, is held on Thursday, March 22.

As reported last week, the Liberal Democrats - whose member Savanna Dabill created the vacancy by stepping down - are putting Jo Allen forward for the seat.

Both parties have released more details about their candidates.

Liz Carr, hoping to become the first Labour member on the currently Lib Dem controlled town council, has lived in Otley for 30 years.

She said: "I’m delighted to be standing as the Labour candidate in this election.

"Otley town council needs councillors who are committed to the work, and I believe an energetic and hardworking Labour councillor can help to ensure real progress on important town council projects such as the Wharfedale Greenway, green energy and promoting tourism to help the town’s economy.

"It’s also vital for democracy that the Liberal Democrats are properly held to account.

"When one party has an overwhelming majority it can lead to neglect of residents’ interests, as we have seen with the West Chevin resignation."

Jo Allen, meanwhile, who lives in the West Chevin ward, has been an Otley resident for 24 years and works from home as a freelance editor and proofreader.

Her community activities have included volunteering at one of Otley’s charity shops, working with the Millennium project Otley Past, Present and Future, and helping on community litter picks.

She said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be able to represent the Liberal Democrats in the by-election.

"I’ve been impressed with the hard work of our council team in their efforts to boost tourism, improve the local environment and invest in community projects.

"I want to keep Otley as the vibrant town we all love.

"My priorities will be to work to support community groups, improve safety measures to stop speeding on Bradford Road, and to help find new ways to tackle litter and dog-fouling."

Labour has also announced details about its three candidates who will stand in the Otley and Yeadon ward at the Leeds City Council elections on Thursday, May 3.

James Ranson, Sian Gregory and Elliot Nathan will be trying to replace the sitting Lib Dem councillors Ryk Downes, Sandy Lay and Colin Campbell.

Ms Gregory, who lives in Yeadon and owns her own business, said: "It’s an honour to be chosen as a Labour candidate in the community I’ve called home for the past 22 years.

"We need to tackle some of the longstanding, long-neglected issues such as traffic congestion, parking and the lack of affordable housing for young people who have grown up here."

Mr Ranson, who works in recruitment and lives in Cookridge, said: "I’m determined to use skills learnt working in a very competitive field to get things done in Leeds, rather than just complain and pass the buck."

Public servant and community activist Mr Nathan, an Otley resident, said: "Leeds City Council, the NHS, and the police have faced savage cuts since the Liberal Democrat-Tory Coalition took power in 2010, which have left our public services on their knees.

"If elected I will fight to protect and improve these vital services for people in our area."