UKIP says Brexit will free up more cash for council services in Wakefield local elections pitch

UKIP says it is fighting for a Brexit which will see more money available for council services, in its pitch to Wakefield voters ahead of the local elections.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 11:25 am
UKIP has launched its bid for votes at the local elections

The party insists that if the UK gets a good departure deal from the EU, there will be positive knock-on effects for local authorities and the people who elect them.

UKIP lost its only serving councillor in Wakefield at last year's local elections, which saw them almost completely wiped out of town halls across the country.

However, party chiefs hope that apathy towards Theresa May's proposed deal and Brexit bickering in Westminster will prompt a bounce in UKIP support on May 2.

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The party's local chairman Keith Wells wants councillors who are accused of misconduct to be named.

Keith Wells, the chairman of UKIP's Wakefield district branch, said: "National and local politics are intertwined. What happens at a national level affects what a local authority can do.

"UKIP's role is to make sure that the decision made by the people on June 23 2016 is put into full effect.

"It's our job to ensure that the UK gets the best trade deals. This will affect the prosperity of the country, and hence the local authority will have more money to deal with."

UKIP is also campaigning for councillors who face accusations of misconduct to be named.

Most local authorities across the country keep the identities of members who are subject to standards proceedings a secret. In Wakefield, a total of six councillors faced misconduct allegations between January 2017 and December 2018, with one told to attend "equality and diversity training". However their names have been withheld from the public.

Mr Wells said: "Once a complaint has been declared admissible they should be named and the press and public should be allowed to attend meetings of the standards panel.

"A lack of transparency casts suspicion upon every councillor."

UKIP has also backed plans, which have been mooted by Wakefield's Conservative group, to set up an indoor market in the city's empty BHS building.

Mr Wells added: "I'm very disappointed by the state of the city centre.

"I noticed Scunthorpe has recently opened a market in its BHS store. I wonder if Wakefield can do the same. There would have to be financial considerations of course."

This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will appear on our websites in the run-up to polling day.

Number of candidates standing - 7

Lawrence Burrows - Castleford Central and Glasshoughton

Cliff Parsons - Normanton

James Johnston - Stanley and Outwood East

Colin Thornton - Wakefield East

Keith Wells - Wakefield North

Josie Thornton - Wakefield West

David Dews - Wrenthorpe and Outwood West

Local Democracy Reporting Service