The chairman of Crawley UKIP has promised to ‘worry’ the main political parties at the forthcoming county council elections.
Nine seats will be contested on May 2 and UKIP thinks it can snatch at least one - possibly from Labour.
Chairman John Mac Canna, candidate for Pound Hill & Worth, said: “We’ve had an upswing in membership and the last ten in Crawley have come from disaffected Labour voters.
“We’re hopeful of winning one seat, we’re pretty optimistic. We’re going to worry the various parties. Overall there’s a good possibility that we’ll become the second party in West sussex.
“We’ll be campaigning on things like helping local business. We’ve really got to help the small guy, we need more diversity in town. I would have no problem working with any of the parties, we have to think about what’s good for the town.”
Crawley Conservative campaign chair Lee Gilroy, candidate for Broadfield, said: “Before the campaign I was a bit concerned we might have some difficulties with UKIP but looking at the feedback it’s far better than expected.
“Since the Government announced the EU referendum it restored people’s faith. I thought people might be upset about welfare reform, but there’s a lot of support for us.
“We know there’s two or three wards we don’t have to worry about and the four we’ve good a good chance of winning.”
“Potholes is a massive issue. There’s always more that could be done but you need more money. We’re campaigning on schools, education, keeping council tax frozen. West Sussex does so much.”
Cllr Brenda Smith, Labour group leader at County Hall and candidate for Langley Green & West Green), said her party hoped to increase its two seats currently held in Crawley. She said: “People are very concerned about the reduction in county council services, and it becoming a commissioner rather than provider of services. People used to have good care package but are now isolated in their homes. It’s an absolute tragedy and enormously short sighted to talk away people’s life lines. The difference between my party and others is that we don’t just campaign during election times, we’re out all year round.”