UK Independence Party (Ukip) targets ‘total lack of democracy’ in Norfolk election campaign
12:00 23 April 2013
A “total lack of democracy” on the proposed King’s Lynn incinerator, wind farms and coastline defences are among the UK Independence Party’s (Ukip) election campaign issues.
All 84 seats at Norfolk County Council will be up for grabs on Thursday, May 2, with Ukip previously having held one during the last Conservative-led administration.
But the party is fielding 72 candidates for the upcoming county-wide ballot and hopes to secure a bigger presence at County Hall. Ukip’s “local manifesto 2013” includes the tagline “open door immigration is crippling local services in the UK” although it includes no direct reference to any local authority area, including Norfolk.
The general themes include investing in youth services, improving road maintenance, holding referenda on major planning decisions, moving government closer to the people and reducing tax and business costs.
But Michael Baker, Ukip candidate in Holt, said the party is concentrating on Norfolk issues, including the county council’s plans for a near-£600m incinerator at Saddlebow.
He said: “The major situations are the total lack of democracy on the incinerator; the total lack of democracy on the wind farm front, particularly the Bodham one which the committee at the district council [North Norfolk] voted unanimously against and an inspector from London says ‘sorry chaps, you will have it anyway’; and the other one causing problems in north Norfolk is the coastline. We are concerned by decisions not to defend parts of it and the failure to take into account the people affected.”
Of Ukip’s number of candidates, Mr Baker said: “This is major. We are covering 80pc of the seats, certainly north Norfolk and Broadland we are 100pc and we are expecting to be a significant opposition presence in the chamber.
“The response has far exceeded what I expected. The opinion expressed to me is we are fed-up with David Cameron and the Conservatives, we don’t see a replacement for Cameron in the Conservatives and all three parties – Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat – they all have relatively similar policies as they are hamstrung by being members of the political union and there’s very little they can do.”
Norfolk County Council has been controlled by the Conservatives, with Bill Borrett as leader in recent weeks.