Two seconds and a third in Shifnal, Cosford and Albrighton

Andy Mitchell with Stuart West

Andy Mitchell with Conservative candidate Stuart West

Congratulations to our three Telford & Wrekin candidates for yesterday’s Shropshire Council elections for a great campaign that was sadly not reflected in the result.

Andy Mitchell came second in Shifnal South & Cosford with 40.24% of the vote, Richard Choudhary came third in Shifnal North with 17.92% of the vote and John Smith came second in Albrighton with 21.75% of the vote.

Of course we are disappointed at not winning any of the seats but this is the first time we’ve had a full throttle UKIP election campaign in any of these divisions and next time we’ll win them.

We’ve already got a number of candidates in place for the 2015 local elections and will be filling in the gaps in the coming months.  If you want to play a part in the purple revolution, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do for each other.  First year’s membership is discounted if you join through the UKIP Telford & Wrekin website.

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Keep Calm and Vote UKIP

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and there are 3 UKIP candidates for you to vote for in Shifnal, Cosford and Albrighton.

The Conservatives have been in control of Shropshire Council for far too long and have shown an unhealthy disregard for democracy.

Abolishing the district councils has failed to deliver the savings it promised as expected. Shropshire residents knew that it wouldn’t which is why they overwhelmingly rejected it in referenda but councillors ignored their wishes and did it anyway. They’ve ignored voters’ wishes on car parking charges and school closures. They’ve wasted money on consultants and councillors’ iPads and broken the law trying to get more money out of elderly and vulnerable people to pay for their care homes.

The 51 Conservatives, 14 Lib Dems, 7 Labour and 2 independent councillors have treated Shropshire residents with contempt – this is your opportunity to vote for change.

Keep Calm and Vote UKIP

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Second place for UKIP’s Tom Hoof in Donnington

UKIP Telford & Wrekin’s Tom Hoof has come second in today’s by-election in Donnington, doubling the Conservative vote in the process.

Liam Mason
Tom Hoof
Gladys Gregory
Rodney Pitt
Tobias Haynes

Tom would like to thank everyone who voted for him and we’d like to congratulate him on an excellent performance.

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Telford & Wrekin cancel St George’s Day

St George is CrossAnyone looking forward to this year’s St George’s Day celebrations in the Town Park is going to be disappointed – it’s been cancelled.

According to Telford & Wrekin Council’s Arts & Culture Service Manager, the number of events the council puts on has been scaled back due to budget constraints and St George’s Day has been cancelled. Instead, they want to start an annual festival in the park during the summer.

The Stone Cross St George’s Day parade in West Brom regularly attracts over 25,000 people who parade through the town and finish up in Dartmouth Park for music, entertainment and a market. The parade attracts people from all over the country and provides an enormous boost to the local economy.

Since the council moved from the civic offices to Addenbrooke House, they don’t even fly our national flag any more and now they’ve decided that our national day isn’t important enough to celebrate. There are six flag poles on the entrance to Ironmasters Way where there the council’s new offices are so there is no shortage of opportunities to fly the flag and if there is money for a summer festival, there is money for St George’s Day.

The Stone Cross St George’s Day parade is organised by local residents and funded from donations after Sandwell Council, like Telford & Wrekin, decided that our national day wasn’t worth celebrating. If that’s the only way our patron saint’s day will be celebrated in Telford & Wrekin then we will have to organise future events ourselves. If you’d like to be involved in organising a St George’s Day event for next year then please get in touch.

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Cllr Jill Seymour in Shifnal

A rather damp Cllr Jill Seymour in Shifnal delivering UKIP newspapers after spending the morning putting up posters with Bill Etheridge.

Jill Seymour Leafleting Shifnal April 11th

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Delivering newspapers in Shifnal

Shifnal South & Cosford candidate, Andy Mitchell, was joined by Cllr Denis Allen, Cllr Jill Seymour, Cllr Stuart Parr, Stuart’s son Declan and West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner candidate Bill Etheridge today to deliver UKIP newspapers in the ward.

Andy Mitchell, Cllr Denis Allen and Declan delivering newspapers in Shifnal

Andy and Denis have been working hard over the last week to deliver the newspapers to large sections of Shifnal and Cosford and we’ll be straight back out  to deliver letters and leaflets when we’re done.  Jill and Bill have been climbing ladders putting posters on lampposts all morning.

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Telford Street Sports for the Easter holidays

Telford Street Sports Poster

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Shropshire Star: This charming man; the real Nigel Farage

A great write-up on nigel Farage and his tour of the country in the Shropshire Star on Friday.

The left wing press think it’s “trendy” to criticise UKIP whilst the right wing press do it to appease their Tory paymasters.  It’s refreshing to see some honest and objective reporting from the Shropshire Star.

This charming man; the real Nigel Farage

Shropshire Star LogoHe’s standing in a Wetherspoons pub, surrounded by a crowd, a pint of real ale in hand and deep in conversation.

As she pushes through the small circle of suits to speak to him, he greets her like a long lost friend.

“Good to see you, how are you?” he booms, as she thrusts a camera out for someone to capture the moment on film.

“Make sure you take two pictures – I want to send one to my daughter in America,” she orders. “She’s a big supporter.”

He chats to her about her daughter for a while and listens intently to the answers. Then a man in a suit approaches to introduce himself.

“Good to see you, how are you?” says Mr Farage, with a big smile, a handshake and eye contact – always direct eye contact.

One thing is for sure – the Ukip leader is a man in demand and he’s quite at ease with it.

So much so that when it comes to my turn to meet him – big smile, big handshake, “Good to see you!”– we have to move to a quiet corner of the pub to prevent interruptions.

He is, after all, the man who has recently been voted the most popular party leader in an Ipsos MORI poll.

Enigmatic, eloquent, jovial, captivating, these are all words which have been used to describe him.

Today, he looks a little jaded having spent the past few days travelling the country on what he dubs with a wry smile “this Billy Graham tour I’m on”.

The day before – his 49th birthday – he was in Worcester where the crowd which flocked to see him was so big they could not all fit in the room. Now he’s in the Staffordshire village of Stone. I ask him about these descriptions of him as one of the most enigmatic political leaders around.

“Well, there isn’t much competition, is there?” he says. “Nobody says anything interesting or does anything any more. They’re all like cardboard cut outs. But at the end of the day, I’m disinterested in what people think of me and whether people like me.”

Instead, he says, he is driven by the feeling that “if we weren’t doing it, nobody else would be”.

“I’ve made a massive sacrifice to do this,” he says. “I’ve given up a very highly paid job and given up a huge amount of my time. But if we weren’t here fighting for these things, I can’t see who would be.

“Plus I enjoy it. Yes it can be very tiring. But I’m gregarious. I like meeting people, it’s huge fun.”

He flashes a grin. “I’m a bit of an extrovert really, I suppose.”

Relaxed, chatty and warm, he comes across as a down-to-earth bloke who you could quite happily enjoy a pint with.

He is comfortable and polite without being over the top or even smarmy, but always seems acutely aware he is being watched.

It would be difficult to describe Farage as “a cardboard cut-out”. He has been through his fair share in his 49 years. He was active in the Conservative party since he was a teenager but left in 1992 over the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.

He joined Ukip in 1993 and was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 and took over leadership of Ukip in 2006.

In his early 20s, he suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a car, and has also battled testicular cancer.

On May 6, 2010, the light aircraft he was in towing an election campaign banner famously nosedived to the ground. He escaped battered and bruised.

“I didn’t think I was coming out of that plane alive,” says the married father-of-four, his tone changing slightly. “I’m the luckiest bloke alive. “I’m a lucky bloke just to be here – two crashes and cancer. I’m completely fatalistic about it all now. That’s why I go on drinking and smoking.”

His tone is laid back and chatty but when it comes to politics, his voice steels and he jabs a finger on the table to emphasise his point.

It was the Eastleigh by-election on March 1 which was, he says was “mega” for the party and got the Tories running scared after beating them to second place behind the Lib Dems. Last week, Ukip also won the vacant seat on Wellington Town Council after polling almost half of the vote.

Does he regret not standing in Eastleigh himself? “No,” he says. “I do not regret it at all. If I had and I’d have won then I wouldn’t be here doing this. I’d be in Eastleigh or Westminster. I would have been hemmed in to doing that. What people see now is us offering positive policy solution. We’ve evolved as a party and have a completely different, forward-looking message.

“The biggest problem for us has always been the idea a vote for Ukip was a wasted vote. Eastleigh showed that’s no longer the case.”

He believes West Midlands could be strong for the party in the forthcoming county council elections. “I’ve got a good feeling about it all. No rash projections but we’re going to run it to the line.”

At this point, one of his team arrives and interrupts us.

“Nigel, are you going to be coming outside soon, the crowd’s getting a bit restless,” he says.

He looks at his watch, pulls a smart black coat over his colourful green check jacket, green and yellow tie and yellow corduroy combo and pops a trademark fedora on his head.

“Lovely to meet you,” he says charmingly. Handshake, big smile, direct eye contact.

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Telford UKIP member on BBC Free Speech

Chairman of Young Independence in the West Midlands, UKIP Telford & Wrekin branch member and Shropshire representative on UKIP’s West Midlands regional committee, Tom Hoof, on BBC Free Speech on 27th March.

Posted in UKIP News

Candidates confirmed for Albrighton and Shifnal

Keep Calm and Vote UKIPShropshire Council have confirmed UKIP Telford & Wrekin’s three candidates for the local elections in May.

We don’t have elections in the borough this year but the Wrekin constituency includes the Albrighton, Shifnal North and Shifnal North & Cosford divisions of Shropshire Council and we stand our own candidates in those three divisions.

We have three excellent candidates for the elections in May:

Barry Smith
Shifnal North
Richard Choudhary
Shifnal South & Cosford
Andrew Kevin Mitchell
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