A LONG-serving councillor has vowed to “work tirelessly” after being picked by the Liberal Democrats to fight for the Colchester seat at the next General Election.

Colchester councillor Martin Goss will take up the baton after being elected by party members at a hustings meeting.

Mr Goss, of Axial Drive, Colchester, was first elected to the council in 2008 and serves the Mile End ward.

He was pitted against five other candidates coming out on top against former councillor Jo Hayes, Callum Robertson, Peter Gwizdala, James Sandbach and James Willis.

David King, party chairman elect, said: “The candidates were impressive. There was an excellent atmosphere and buzz of conversation.

“The winner Martin Goss has a deservedly fantastic ‘can do and will do’ reputation.

“He’s a local boy, a proven campaigner, councillor, cabinet member and activist with a strong local following across the political divide.

“We are proud to have him as our Parliamentary candidate.”

The Colchester seat was a Lib Dem stronghold with Sir Bob Russell at the helm from 1997 until 2015.

The party came third at the snap General Election in 2017 beaten by incumbent Tory MP Will Quince and Labour.

Mr Goss vowed to work “tirelessly” for the town.

He said: “I am honoured, humbled and delighted to have been selected as Sir Bob Russell’s successor to stand as the Parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems in Colchester.

“I will work tirelessly as always for the people of Colchester to ensure fairness in everything we do.

“Colchester is in my DNA. I’ve been raised here. I’ve been educated here, worked here and most importantly, I live here.

“I am proud to have been selected to represent our town in the next general election.”

Mr Goss, who is waste boss at the council, has promised to put pressure on the Government to deliver upgrades to the A12, A120 and A133, call for investment in the police and tackle poverty in the town.

He said: “The rise in food banks is a cause for concern not celebration. We may be one of the richest countries in the world, but we have huge gaps in society between rich and poor and this must be narrowed.

“This cannot be right and I promise to work tirelessly for better for the borough.”