ADUR District Council’s leader told the Herald the election results were disappointing for the UK Independence Party, and says his party, the Conservatives, now know how to fight their rivals.
Neil Parkin comfortably won his seat and said he was not concerned that his administration had lost four to UKIP.
Councillor Parkin said the results had been disappointing for UKIP, adding that they had expected to win a lot more seats than they did, and played down any chance of a challenge to his party’s dominance at next year’s elections.
“They’re not much of a threat,” said Cllr Parkin.
“I was a lot more concerned last Thursday than I am today.
“We have got the measure of them now. In most wards, the Conservative vote actually went up compared to last year.”
Cllr Parkin attributed UKIP’s success in Adur to them winning what he called the ‘easy seats’.
“We were worried about losing some of our main seats,” he added. “We couldn’t even find anyone for Mash Barn.
“After last year’s hammering at county, people didn’t want to stand because they didn’t want to lose. Nobody wanted to take it on.”
When asked about the low turnout for this year’s elections – 37.82 per cent – Cllr Parkin said: “It would help if the other political parties went out and knocked on doors. People said we were the only ones.
Overall, Cllr Parkin said he had been genuinely pleased with his party’s performance at the polls.
“I would like to thank the people of Adur for putting their trust in my lot again,” he said.
“We now know how to fight UKIP. Where we went head to head with them, we won.
“Mr Farage spoke of a UKIP fox in the Westminster henhouse. Well, we have shot that fox here in Adur.”