LOCAL ELECTIONS 2018: Let Battle Commence!
I think one of the worst moves we made as a Party was not to stand a Candidate in every Ward in the 2017 General Election. I realise it was not as simple as it sounds, there were reasons that wasn’t possible, but I strongly believe that tactical voting was our downfall.
As we, at our Branch, started to prepare for the Local Elections I decided that I would stand as a Paper Candidate. I had no desire to be a Councillor, not something I wanted to do at all. I picked a Ward that I had no chance of winning, Billericay West seemed perfect for me, three Tory Councillors, a Tory MP albeit a confirmed Brexiteer. No chance of a win here but it meant that the UK Independence Party and our £ sign logo would be on the ballot paper. Not only would that give us an indication of our vote share in an area where the Conservatives regularly poll over 50%. It was also a place for a protest vote for people unhappy with the way our Brexit is being handled.
As a paper candidate there would be no campaigning in that area, no leaflets, all that was required from me was a photo for a press release and the loan of my name for the ballot paper. Simple.
As we started assigning Candidates to Wards, hearing why people wanted to stand along with the consensus that my Party, UKIP, the Party that I had devoted the last two and half years of my life to, was needed more than ever, the brain cells started twitching.
I started to think that maybe being a paper candidate was not going to be enough for me. I was learning about local politics and I have lived in this Borough with all its changes since I was 10.
I put thought into being an active Candidate and the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea
I see the great work that our Councillors do and although UKIP nationally ‘could do better’ locally we are on a roll. UKIP Councillors have been instrumental in some key decisions in the Borough. It is important for us to keep us that emphasis, to let people know we are still here fighting for them. Our job is not finished, our Party still has a purpose, we must still fight for our Brexit, our area voted 69% to leave. We must stand up for those people to ensure they get what they voted for, because if we don’t, who will?
On 22nd March I attended my first Council meeting as a spectator, to give our Councillors moral support as the Local Plan was presented to Council. Our UKIP Councillors, with Labour and Independents are the Administration in Basildon and have worked tirelessly over the last year to secure a local plan that was fair across the whole Borough. The plan passed at around 1 am and I felt some of the euphoria that that the Councillors felt, a good job had been done for Council residents
The area I chose to stand in has an incumbent UKIP Councillor, but she is not standing for re-election. I hope I can fill her shoes.
This week we are concentrating on getting vetting and nomination papers completed, deadline 6th April. Hopefully leaflets will be ready to start campaigning on the 9th. So much to do in so little time but I will be out there knocking on doors, talking to people and doing everything I can to get elected and join a great team of UKIP Councillors.
Let the battle commence.