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UKIP to contest Parliamentary and district council seats in Staffordshire Moorlands

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 04, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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The UK  Independence Party (UKIP) has announced it is to contest next year's Staffordshire Moorlands Parliamentary election – and aims to field candidates in all 56 district council seats.

UKAt a meeting of the Staffordshire Moorlands branch the prospective candidates for the Parliamentary seat were reduced down to two people, who will now both go through the vetting stage.

They are George Langley-Poole from Ellastone, and Reg Davies of Leek.

The successful candidate will be chosen by members of the branch in September.

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It was also agreed to aim to field candidates in all of the 56 district council seats which will be up for grabs next May.

At the last election the late Steve Povey stood as a UKIP candidate for the Parliamentary seat, and was the only UKIP candidate in the district elections in 2010.

News of the local party's intentions come weeks after UKIP nationally won 27.5 per cent of the vote in the European elections, gaining it 24 MEPs.

In local council elections held at the same time, UKIP gained 161 seats, but runs no authorities.

Chairman of the Staffordshire Moorlands branch, Alex Povey, said: "My dad stood last time for the Parliamentary seat and got 3,500 votes.

"However, times have changed and UKIP is on the rise. We also aim to roll out candidates for all the district council seats next year. People are fed up and want a change."

Members also agreed to discuss councillors' allowances at the group's August meeting, as well as expenses for both county and district councils.

Mr Povey, said: "Our policy is to provide a better value for money for council taxpayers.

"Proposals will be considered at our August meeting to reduce the amount any future UKIP councillor will get, and by how much."

The party also agreed to vigorously oppose all applications for the erection of wind turbines in the district, and to write to the district council for business rates rebates to be given to traders who have suffered during the road works in Leek.

In an open letter to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council leader Sybil Ralphs, Mr Povey said traders in the town were suffering with takings down between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

He said: "Our proposal is that we ask the district council to give urgent consideration to a retrospective rate reduction of 50 per cent, to all traders affected by the road works, effective from the start of the road works, and continued until they end."

In her response, Ms Ralphs highlighted the Government's recent £1,000 business rate relief scheme, available to all retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £50,000.

She said: "This is likely to include a large number of retailers in Leek and should result in many having their business rates wiped out altogether." See Letters: Page 23

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