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UKIP councillors to meet the public in Staplehurst Village Centre

By Alan Smith
Cllr Eddie Powell, leader of the UKIP group on Maidstone Council
Cllr Eddie Powell, leader of the UKIP group on Maidstone Council

It’s two months since UKIP gained its first seats ever on Maidstone Borough Council.

The party returned four councillors to the Town Hall after the elections on May 22.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the party is holding a public meeting to report back to the electorate on their first eight weeks in office.

Eddie Powell, the leader of the UKIP group on the council, will explain why the party abstained in the vote for a new council leader immediately following the election, choosing to favour neither the Conservative nor the Lib Dem candidates.

Also at the meeting in the North Hall at Staplehurst Village Centre will be Janice Atkinson, the newly elected UKIP MEP for the South East, who will give an overview of her impressions of her first two months in Europe.

The party will hope that the meeting, which starts at 12.30pm, will boost support for Jamie Kalmar, the UKIP candidate in the forthcoming by-election in Staplehurst on Thursday.

The by-election was called after the resignation of one of the village’s two sitting Conservative councillors, Richard Lusty.

At the last election in May, where there was a contest for the village’s other ward seat, Mr Kalmar came third behind the Lib Dem candidate and the successful Tory candidate John Perry.

Mr Kalmar said: “As we are fighting fewer seats this time around, I have had a lot more support from other party members campaigning with me. We are hopeful.”

There is also no independent candidate this time.

Should Mr Kalmar be successful, it will be another blow to the Conservatives, who went from an overall majority to a minority administration in May and currently hold only 24 of the 55 seats.

The candidates in the Staplehurst by-election are:

Louise Brice (Con)

David George (Green)

Jamie Kalmar (UKIP)

John Randall (Lab)

Paulina Watson (Lib Dem)

*Polling is this Thursday (July 24) between 7am and 10pm.

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