THREE leading borough councillors will challenge the BNP in the fight to win a county council seat.
The election for the Crewe South ward on April 1 looks likely to be a hotly contested affair with each party putting forward high profile candidates.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the BNP claiming it has won backing in the ward where it has canvassed by putting letters through doors.
Challengers are Alexandra ward councillor Steve Hogben, for Labour, St John's ward councillor David Cannon for the Liberal Democrats, Shavington borough councillor Peter Hallett for the Conservatives and Michael Beardshaw for BNP.
Mr Hogben is a member of the Borough Council's Board, responsible for the local economy, and a ward resident, living in Salisbury Avenue.
Borough council leader Peter Kent, Labour, said: 'Steve is a big hitter on the local scene. He has extensive knowledge of the exciting plans we have for the future and has been dealing with major new investments that are bringing huge numbers of new jobs and prosperity to the town.'
Liberal Democrat leader Gwyn Griffiths said: 'This looks set to be a close fight - the Liberal Democrats have been gaining ground in recent years. We already hold three of the borough council seats in Crewe South, Labour has five and the Conservatives none.'
Conservatives say they have a strong candidate in Peter Hallett. He believes council tax has risen unreasonably under Labour, borough streets are dirty and people are concerned about the threat of yobs - all issues he would intend to address.
Conservative group leader Brian Silvester said: 'Crewe South has declined. It is time for a change.'
But the BNP say Michael Beard-shaw, 69, stands every chance.
Campaign leaders say canvassing is going very well and claim 29% of 426 people so far questioned would be backing him.
The seat is vacant following the death of Labour county councillor Jeff Minshall.