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News Ukip’s huge by-election win

UKIP retained the Shepway south seat on Maidstone Borough Coun- cil, hours after a leading independ- ent crossed the floor to the Eurosceptic party. John Barned (73), of Lenham,

swept in with a massive 45.2% of the vote, leaving the Tory candidate be- hind by almost 23%. The majority for Mr Barnedwas more than 200. The election result on September

8 came hours after respected Downswood and Otham member Gordon Newton announced he would be joining Ukip. Mr Barned (below), who is re- tired, defected from the Tories last year, and has served as a bor- ough councillor. He


worked in local government as a housing officer

and later in a community role. He said: “We fought this cam-

paign for six weeks and I must admit that in the last week of the campaign I felt thatwe could do it. “There was so much positive re-

action on the doorstep. I stood on local issues that I know something about as a local person – roads,

housing and the environment. “But I was very, very pleased to

have done as well we did and it is largely down to the hard work of the 20 or so people who worked on the campaign with me.” The by-election was sparked by

the sudden death of Dave Sergeant in May this year. Tory Bob Hinder fought on a plat- form calling for a Leeds-Langley re-

lief road, which he believes is crucial to easing traffic issues atWillington Street, Senacre and Shepway. Fellow Ukip councillor Eddie

Powell said: “Itwas a very interest- ing result. Out on the doorstep we could tell which way people were intending to vote. “In some cases, they’re voting for

the person not the party, and that may have been the case here.”

How you voted

Shepway South (Maidstone) result: Ukip: 432 votes 45.2% (+1.3) Con: 215 votes 22.5% (+0.2) Lab: 183 votes 19.2% (-8.3) Ind: 88 votes 9.2% (+9.2) Lib Dem: 41 votes 3.9% (-2.4) Turnout: 21.8%

‘Homes plans persuaded me to switch’

AN independent borough councillor has joined Ukip. Gordon Newton, the respected member for Downswood and Otham, said he could no longer work with the independent group on the council because of planned housing in his area. Cllr Newton, of Downswood, said:

“I have done a good job for the peo- ple of Downswood and Otham and they voted for the candidate and not the group. “I took some time thinking about

the decision and I did not rush it.” He said that a proposed housing

development at Bicknor Wood would condemn part of his Otham

ward to “oblivion”. He added: “Ukip have stated

green policies and that was one of the reasons for crossing the floor.”

Borough councillor Gordon Newton, left. who has left the Independent group for Ukip, with Cllr Eddie Powell

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