YOU don’t have to get far over the border from Hull into Holderness to be reminded of the UKIP factor in both the local and national elections – a giant poster board on Hedon road at Saltend implores residents to ‘Vote UKIP’ on 7th May. In the second part of our series looking at the four campaigns taking place to win your votes for seats on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council representing South West Holderness, the Hedon Blog considers UKIP.
UKIP is a new party in the local area and while it boasts both disgruntled Conservative and Labour supporters in its membership, it has attracted many people new to politics including local UKIP candidate Terry West.
Terry West is no Nigel Farage. Whether Mr West would find umbrage in that statement is irrelevant, the fact is, Terry West is not the media-ready, polished-politician with the quick buzzword responses that you would expect from his party leader. On the contrary as Mr West readily admits, he’s “new to the game” and that perhaps reflects in the type of campaign being waged by the party in the South West Holderness ward. There are the traditional leaflets, banners, posters, leafletting as you would expect. But then there’s the dual-pronged approach to deal with local and national politics; on the one-hand we have the presentation of the pragmatic and practical very local candidate, and then on the other there’s the UKIP card-carrying party member. One and the same, but promoted differently.
Pragmatic and practical: The placement of the giant UKIP billboard on Hedon Road is typical of the Terry West approach – he did the whole thing himself from securing landowner’s permission through to erecting the thing (with a little help from party colleague Paddy Fisher). His background as a businessman in construction and building design gives him a practical skillset which he has used to full effect. As well as placing billboards across the area, utilising those skills has given him a track record to demonstrate how he would act as an East Riding Councillor; his previous record on Hedon Town Council allows him to claim quite genuinely that he brings a practical approach to help solve local issues
Mr West was elected to Hedon Town Council on a clear UKIP ticket in the by-election of February 2014. Since then he has instigated a scheme to install a future-proofed drainage and filtration system at the town’s Horsewell Pond designed to maintain water levels. The same scheme has also tackled a problem of massive puddles forming on Ivy Lane after showers, that rainwater is now channelled into the pond.
His latest and perhaps his most significant project to date is the plan to expand the old railway station sidings into a new car parking area to increase the current capacity there from the current 14 car parking spaces to 60. Having sought and won support from Hedon Town Council, Mr West’s designs are currently at the East Riding Council for consideration. During the Hedon Town Council’s budget meeting in January to set the local precept a proposal by Terry West for the council to contribute £10,000 towards an earlier and at that time un-costed scheme to improve and expand the car park was narrowly defeated.
The UKIP member: So if you vote for Terry West you get a practical problem-solver – but you also get UKIP. As a UKIP councillor on Hedon Town Council there has been no ‘unfurling of the UKIP banner’ at meetings by Mr West, indeed he promised in the by-election campaign last year that that wouldn’t be the case. The UKIP approach adopted on Hedon Town Council is to concentrate on the local issues but be happy to tell people about the party. The same approach is likely to be adopted in Thorngumbald Parish Council where a UKIP member has just secured a seat on the council there as a result of the uncontested parish election.
But in fact there has been no mention at Hedon Town Council, for example, of UKIP’s policies on immigration control. To be honest there just isn’t opportunity to discuss such matters at the council. But of course, because of the enormous media attention on UKIP and the ‘UKIP factor’, these policies which do form part of Terry West’s county council campaign will undoubtedly be looked at closely when voters weigh up the options on how to cast their vote on 7th May.
Who’s likely to vote UKIP in the South West Holderness ward election? Which other parties, if any, will this impact on? The answer to these questions is the ‘UKIP factor’ and it’s unknown. What we do know is that Terry West will have his own personal vote, particularly in his home town of Hedon where he has lived for decades. He has also won the votes of those who have already declared their support for UKIP nationally.
Whether UKIP and Terry West voters will also use their extra two votes for other candidates is equally unknown. And will people voting for other candidates opt to use one of their three votes as a UKIP protest vote? With just one UKIP candidate standing then all kinds of permutations are possible.
There are eight candidates standing in the election for the three seats from South West Holderness Ward on East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Voting is on Thursday 7th May 2015. Polling stations are open from 7am – 10pm.
|Candidates (√ = have sent statement)|
|BLACK, Neil √
|BRYAN, Mike √
|DENNIS, John √
|GALLANT, Steve √
|ROMMELL, Sarah √
|STEEL, Sue √
|STOCKDALE, Brian √
|WEST, Terry √
Follow our election coverage at: Campaigning for YOUR votes.