THE Conservatives have retained their hold in Moreton West & Saughall Massie following yesterday's by-election.

Tory candidate Steve Williams, a former policeman, took 2255 of the votes in the by-election, which followed the sudden death of ward councillor Suzanne Moseley in September.

Also standing were Labour's Andrew Hollingworth, who picked up 615 votes, the Liberal Democrats' Steve Pitt with 134 votes, Independent candidate Alec McFadden with 121 votes and the Green Party's Jim McGinley with 92 votes.

Steve Williams, 52, lives in Saughall Massie and runs his own computer business.

He told the Globe: "I'm very happy to have been given the chance to represent my ward. From last night's result, it is clear that people are ready for change.

"I've always been a Conservative supporter, but could never get involved in politics during the 24 years I was in the police.

"I'm a local resident, have lived here all my life and my children were educated here. I share my fellow constituents' concerns on issues like speeding and dog muck.

"I feel honoured to have been elected and hope to carry on where Suzanne left off."

Fellow Moreton West Conservative councillor Chris Blakeley said: "It was a massive result for us - 70.1 per cent voted for us, with 19 per cent for Labour.

"The scale of the result sends out a strong message, across the borough, about what will happen in May."

Alec McFadden, who now plans to stand as a parliamentary candidate against Salford Labour MP Hazel Blears, said: "I'd be the first to congratulate the Conservatives. The only reason they did so well, was because they didn't support the library closures."