Labour’s Mike McCusker has won the Eccles by-election, but with half the majority the party had in local elections earlier this year.

McCusker won the contest with 1071 votes, whilst Conservative candidate Andrew Darlington came a distant second with 474.

The Women’s Equality Party put up a candidate in Salford for the first time, and gained 2% of the vote.

In an interview with Salford Now, McCusker vowed to prioritise investment in Eccles town centre and make the area a “transport hub”, with more frequent trains and an increase in the number of locals that use Park and Ride.

On housing, McCusker called for an end to the “shocking state of homelessness across Greater Manchester” and says that getting affordable housing for those stuck in their childhood home is vital.

“Adults in their thirties and forties are still stuck in their parents’ homes as a result of too many short-term, zero hour and minimum wage contracts.

“I think the Council can play a role through it’s procurement policy…make sure that when we’re handing out contracts and purchasing on behalf of the citizens of Salford, we’re buying from people who pay decent wages and respect trade unions.”

Asked about an increasing number of unaffordable homes in Salford and Eccles, he said that housing associations need to build more affordable housing and wants the Council to “empower community organisations so that local people can build genuinely local solutions to housing in their areas.”

McCusker also refuted claims by some campaigners that Salford City Council is too generous to property developers:

“We’re massively outperforming Manchester City Council in the amount of Section 106 [planning fees] money that we’ve generated from development.

“I think we’ve got a Mayor that’s committed toward creating more social housing.”

The election was called last month following the resignation of Labour Councillor Peter Wheeler, who announced he was moving outside of Salford.

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