Ukip sets sights on Gosport for borough council elections

POSITIVE Chris Wood believes Ukip has a good chance of faring well in the county council elections in May
POSITIVE Chris Wood believes Ukip has a good chance of faring well in the county council elections in May
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THE Ukip party has vowed to take on all seats at the Gosport Borough Council elections.

It comes as political parties across the borough gear up for battle in May.

Chris Wood, who was elected to Hampshire County Council last year, said his party has a good chance after ‘faring well’ in Gosport recently and will put up only local people.

The 24-year-old, Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for Gosport, told The News: ‘We should have a full slate of candidates.

‘I’m quite positive. We did really well in the county council elections.

‘It’s on the same day as European elections so we’re looking for a good showing.’

Ukip’s bid comes at a time when three councillors in the ruling Conservative party are stepping down.

Councillor Colin Jacobs, Cllr Derek Kimber and Cllr Michael Lane are leaving.

But Cllr Mark Hook, the leader of the Tory administration, says he isn’t worried.

He said: ‘I will encourage them (Ukip) to stand in every ward to find out their popularity. I think it will be a good test to find out where the Liberal Democrats stand.

‘When you look at the two parties, they are poles apart when it comes to Europe, one definitely wanting to be out and the other wanting to stay.

‘Rest assured as Conservatives we will be standing 17 candidates and fighting.’

There are 17 wards covering Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent, with two councillors representing each.

Half of these are up for election in May and the other half will be up in two years.

Cllr Wood, who represents Fareham Crofton at Hampshire County Council, said he already has 15 candidates lined up with two left to find.

And despite Ukip being known for its stance on Europe and immigration, he says candidates will fight the election on local issues.

Cllr Wood added: ‘Ukip always do well in coastal areas across the country.

‘And we always do well with people who are old-style patriotic working class, and I think that comes under what large parts of Gosport are.’

Cllr Peter Chegwyn is the leader of the Lib Dems, which has five councillors.

He said: ‘We’ve seen no evidence of Ukip doing anything in Gosport since the last local elections. Anyone can put names on ballot papers.’

Cllr Dennis Wright is leader of the Labour group, which has five councillors.

He said: ‘I think the electorate need to be wary of some of their policies, which are mainly national.

‘They’ve got no experience in local government.’