Published: 13:00, 18 April 2014
| Updated: 13:14, 18 April 2014
UKIP candidates gathered outside Maidstone Town Hall today to eye up the building they hope to be moving into.
For the first time ever, the party is fielding a candidate in every seat in the forthcoming borough council elections.
With the local authority elections being held on the same date as the European Elections, May 22, when the party traditionally does well, UKIP is hopeful of returning its first councillors to the Town Hall.
Twenty of the 55-seats on the council are being contested and the Conservatives would need only to lose three seats to lose overall control.
Of the 20 seats, 10 are currently held by the Tories, eight by the Liberal Democrats and two are vacant.
UKIP is opposing the high housing targets imposed by the Conservative administration, which it argues are being fuelled by open-door immigration from the EU.
It also argues that new development should be directed to brown-field sites, with a greater emphasis on protecting the countryside.
The party is the only party calling for an expansion of Kent’s grammar school system and also wants a return to weekly bin collections.
Maidstone and the Weald constituency chairman James Rosier said the party was more democratic than the old parties. He said: “When elected we shall introduce a system of binding local planning referendums, so that local people can make the decisions on big developments such as large-scale supermarkets, wind turbines, incinerators, solar farms, and big transport schemes.
“We will return the power to the people.”
There will be elections in the following wards:
Allington, Bearsted, Boxley, Bridge, Coxheath and Hunton, East, Fant, Harrietsham and Lenham (two seats), Headcorn, Heath, High Street,
Marden and Yalding, North (two seats), Parkwood, Shepway North, Shepway South, South and Staplehurst.
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