May 23 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 2, 2012
THE UK Independence Party (UKIP) is stepping up its fight to win political control around Great Yarmouth.
Candidates threw down the gauntlet to the Conservatives and Labour in May’s borough elections by contesting every seat - and came within 48 votes of seizing their first in Gorleston.
And wasting no time to capitalise on this momentum, organisers have revealed they will be fielding candidates in all of Yarmouth’s county council seats for next year’s elections.
Party leader Nigel Farage - a familiar face on BBC One’s Question Time - has the borough in his focus and has made repeat visits, most recently to Yarmouth Racecourse.
And he and local UKIP leader Matthew Smith are confident of the party toppling serving councillors in the near future.
Mr Smith said: “This is a statement of intent to pick up seats in Yarmouth and a firm commitment to the electorate that we will be campaigning all year round and not just at election time.”
He narrowly missed out on a borough council seat in Gorleston after Tory Bertie Collins placed 48 votes ahead of him in May.
But he will be contesting the Gorleston St Andrews division in the May 2013 Norfolk County Council elections.
Former Conservative Councillor Alan Grey, 54, is to challenge Tory cabinet member Graham Plant for his seat in Breydon as the UKIP candidate having been a borough councillor for the Conservatives between 2008 and 2012 in Bradwell North.
Rex Parkinson Hare will be looking to defend his seat in Nelson, Southtown and Cobholm, and apprentice carpenter Liam Probert will be UKIP’s Magdalen candidate.
Security guard Colin Aldred, 60, will contend Lothingland, student Alex Dougal is challenging for Yarmouth North and Central and Jonathon Childs, landlord of The Grange in Ormesby, is to stand in East Flegg.
Logistics manager Mike Bird, 24, of Scratby will contest West Flegg division, and Caister resident Jack Cutting will stand in his home division of Caister.
When he visited Yarmouth last week, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “I think we have got a good chance of winning seats. Since 2012 we are taking a big percentage of Conservative voters.
“We can make serious headway in Great Yarmouth.”
Election candidates for all parties will be printed in the Mercury as they are announced.