Ukip challenge every seat in district election

UKIP county councillor David Simister, who will speak at the Met Club meeting on June 6, 2013. (S)
UKIP county councillor David Simister, who will speak at the Met Club meeting on June 6, 2013. (S)

Ukip has announced it will contest every single election seat in the district this May.

Prospective Ukip councillors will stand in all 19 wards across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon for the local elections in May.

The party has revealed its manifesto for the district which includes a pledge to put the town’s International Centre in the hands of the private sector and scaling back house building if they are elected in sufficient numbers in May.

County Coun David Simister (Bilton and Nidd Gorge) won the party’s first seat in last May’s North Yorkshire County Council elections, taking the seat from the 2009 majority winner Lib Dem Geoffrey Webber by just 32 votes.

Coun Simister said: “We are setting out our stall well ahead of Mays’ election with a raft of policies aimed at supporting local businesses, saving the tax payer money and preserving the character of the district.

“The international centre is losing money hand over fist and this can’t be allowed to continue. It must be put into the hands of the private sector and divorced from council interference.”

High Harrogate Coun Richard Cooper (Con) said: “The conservatives have contested every seat in Harrogate for decades, it is not just about contesting elections it is about winning and Ukip’s record on winning in Harrogate is extremely poor, having only won one seat from the Lib Dems with a handful of votes.”

He added: “I look forward to the local elections.”

Last month, Harrogate’s Ukip candidate for the next General Election, John Upex stood down calling himself a ‘shin-kicking embarrassment’.