Lionel Barnard, Conservative county council deputy leader (letters, February 21) has got his facts wrong, compounding this error by insulting a sizeable number of registered electors as ‘wasting’ their vote and potential vote for a UKIP candidate.
Approaching 2.8m voters cast for UKIP in the 2009 nationwide Euro Elections, upwards of 1m in the 2010 General Election, some 8,000 in Horsham for our UKIP candidate Harry Aldridge and comfortably over 6,000 in the 2010 District Elections.
Here in Billingshurst our three UKIP candidates comfortably dismissed Lib-Dems from second place and fully stretched Conservatives to the winning post.
During our four week campaign in Horsham we distributed both National and Local Government manifestos generously to a large number of shopping public on Saturdays both in West Street and Carfax.
In addition we campaigned in the Warnham, Slinfold and Itchingfield by-election in January 2012 with a well researched UKIP bullet point leaflet detailing several local issues as the then Tory council leader stood down in the wake of the Broadbridge Heath Community Leisure Centre débâcle.
From memory we highlighted housing, environmental and community leisure centre facility issues among others.
We featured our UKIP policy to collect and redistribute local Business Rates directly to local expenditure for local needs, circumventing the central Government Treasury route.
Our ‘catch all’ innovative UKIP policy of ‘Local Referenda’ also featured prominently. Which Referenda when activated by any petition from sufficient local electors on any contentious issue (for example a green fields local housing development company schemes, the loss of a service such as the local community leisure complex, the West Grinstead Cemetery and Crematorium proposal, both the Billingshurst and Southwater greenfields housing development proposals and the like which stretch infrastructure to the limit and beyond in health, schools, roads and transport issues etc) would, upon decision of a public local ballot, become binding upon the council concerned. Some two or three thousand households received these ‘local issues’ UKIP leaflets, Mr Barnard. Your own claim fails.
To imply that we concentrate upon one issue in the main, that of the EU notwithstanding our two manifestos, the EU political issues affect every single national and local government policy with enormous economic consequences upon our local daily lives; proving to be an immense and unacceptable financial and social burden loading cost upon cost upon small and medium enterprises, corporate giants, industrial manufacturers and government departments throughout UK across the entire spectrum of economic activity, energy and transport, health and social services.
One local corporate taxation consultant to prestigious UK giants, chairmen and financial planning directors described this 2010 growing cost burden from the EU as ‘an unimaginable nightmare’.
The cost of the EU in 2012 alone to Great Britain was no less than £150bn (Tim Congdon MBE, Economist 2013) and an EU Grant of Encouragement to Ford UK at Eastleigh of some £80m has cost 4,000 UK skilled workers their jobs, now exported to industrial production lines in Turkey by EU commission decision.
The Conservative and Labour Governments signed Treaties, endorsed by the Lib Dems, which gave unchallengeable powers to this unelective and non-accountable body, and now remain silent on this matter.
Yes, local issues are important, too damned right they are. Voters will not be ‘wasting’ their UKIP votes on such local issues as these Mr Barnard. These UKIP cast votes may disappoint you, Mr Barnard. Get used to it.
There are more elections to come, in May 2013, Euro Elections 2014, General Election 2015, next following District Elections and the occasional by-elections in between. Let the people decide. UKIP trust them to do so.
Stane Street, Adversane