Avon & Somerset PCC Election

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The UK Independence Party does not intend to stand a candidate in the Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner elections on 2nd May 2024.

UKIP strongly opposes the posts of Police & Crime Commissioners. They are a waste of public resources and only serve to politicise our police.

The fact that turnout in 2021 was a lamentable 30.7%, (up from a mere 26% in 2016), tends to suggest that the voting public largely agrees with us and has little interest in this type of election.

“Treason” May’s Tory government in its wisdom, created Police and Crime Commissioners in 2011. For no good reason, she abolished local authority police committees (which were less costly and worked better) and replaced them with directly elected commissioners, which politicised policing.

Even though elected commissioners (theoretically) take an oath of impartiality upon taking office they still come with their own woke, politically correct baggage.

At its creation, a politically independent candidate was elected as the Avon & Somerset PCC and who then served from 2012 until 2021. Sadly, the 2021 election wiped-away all traces of political independence and installed a Tory Commissioner, (the former Tory deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council). In other words, just another representative of the failed establishment political class. His fat salary alone is reportedly now costing local taxpayers £86,700 each year and we have to fund his 28 full time members of staff on top!

UKIP believes that the same money could be used better to increase resources for front-line policing in our rural towns and villages.

Hence; since 2021 UKIP has steadfastly refused to stand in an election for a post that we fundamentally believe should not exist and will simply produce a foregone conclusion that will result in yet another highly-paid political appointment for a member of the failed establishment elite. 

It seems a fair assumption that 69.3% of voters across Avon & Somerset agree with us as the silent majority clearly sat on their hands, and just didn’t vote last time. 

Law And Order Politics

New constituencies in Bath & Somerset

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The nine existing constituencies we have known in the County of Somerset are changing. The independent Boundary Commission for England has reviewed all existing parliamentary constituencies with the aim of evening out the number of voters in each seat. Their proposals have been accepted by Parliament, which means the next General Election will no longer be fought on the old Somerset County constituencies of  Bath, Bridgwater and West Somerset, North Somerset, North East Somerset, Somerton and Frome, Taunton Deane, Wells, Weston super Mare and Yeovil.

From the next General Election we now have eleven constituencies across the County. Some are new seats and some are named similarly to the previous ones (but some boundary differences may still exist).

Bath 

Bridgwater – Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge

Frome and East Somerset – Frome, Midsomer Norton and Radstock

Glastonbury and Somerton – Glastonbury, Somerton, Castle Cary, Langport, Street and Wincanton

North East Somerset and Hanham – Keynsham plus some parts of South Gloucestershire to the west of Bath

Somerset North – Portishead, Clevedon

Taunton and Wellington – Taunton, Wellington, Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove

Tiverton and Minehead – Minehead, Watchet and Williton, Hinkley Point C plus Tiverton across the Devon border

Wells and Mendip Hills – Wells, Axbridge, Cheddar, Shepton Mallet and Yatton

Weston-super-Mare 

Yeovil – Yeovil, Chard, Crewkerne and Ilminster

This has no effect on local elections and our three existing local authorities remain unchanged,  namely Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset Council.

 

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UKIP Meeting the People of Frome

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Awesome to see enthusiastic UKIP activists all over Frome Town Centre today with Peter Richardson who was talking to local people.

Peter is UKIP’s candidate in the Somerton and  Frome by election on 20th July.

It was amazing to meet so many locals saying they will vote UKIP.  Peter will make an outstanding MP for Somerton and Frome, He stands for people, not politics,  and he will give local people a real voice in Westminster. 

Vote UKIP.

St. George’s Day in Weston super Mare

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UKIP was out and about in Weston super Mare on St. George’s Day

Many thanks to our branch members and supporters who took the time to support our action day in Weston super Mare today. We were joined by Ben Walker, UKIP National Chairman with the UKIP taxi and some members from other nearby branches.  We handed out leaflets to shoppers and leafletted the local area. We received a good reception from local people many of whom were only too pleased to accept our leaflets and wanted to know why we have been away for so long.

We handed out lots of membership forms to those who enquired about joining UKIP (n.b. if you missed us you can still join by visiting ukip.org/join). The UKIP taxi toured the area with flags waving and speakers blaring to attract attention. All in all, we achieved our objective of letting Weston super Mare know UKIP is still here in Somerset and getting our name out again in the area. Here are a few photographs of the day.  

 

 

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Mainstream Parties Making You Poor

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The all too powerful green lobby has gained far too much influence over government policy, and, as a result many people in Bath and Somerset are now struggling with the cost of living.

The Tory government’s capitulation to the unrealistic demands of green activists has resulted in your electricity bills increasing way above inflation. Far too many people in our area now face the stark choice of heating or eating, and many of our local children are living in poverty. This problem will only increase with the construction of more solar and wind farms, which will mean no end to expensive green levies on your fuel bills. Solar arrays and windfarms can only operate with the help of subsidies from green taxes, which, in turn, create energy poverty, particularly for those on fixed incomes and pensions.

Crazy “net zero” targets are having a severe economic impact on the entire UK, with a consequent drop in our standard of living. You did not vote for this, and it is undemocratic.

UKIP is opposing this lack of common sense. UKIP opposes wind and solar farms, which are an ineffectual source of electricity. They rely on subsidies in the form of green energy surcharges in order to make them economically viable. We all pay for them through our increased energy bills. The recent Tory net zero targets are relentlessly increasing our power bills but they are delivering less secure power supplies. Households are paying ever more for their gas and electricity, and household costs are going to rise even further as the Government raises the price cap.

Energy Prices

Windfarms and solar arrays are a blot on the landscape and they threaten to reduce the value of houses near them. There are already too many wind and solar farms in the Bath and Somerset area.  We have wind farms in Shepton Mallet and Radstock and solar farms in Crewkerne, Taunton, Wincanton, Bridgwater, Weston super Mare and Marksbury. If the green lobby gets their way there will be even more popping up all over our area. At the time of writing, Bridgwater is at risk and so is East and West Huntspill.

The output of windfarms is unpredictable and inconsistent. They are ugly and devastate rural settings. They create noise pollution, reduce the value of nearby homes and are inefficient. They can have a harmful effect on biodiversity, with birds and bats particularly at risk. The threats to nature include unsettling birds, habitat loss and deaths due to collision, dislocation from feeding grounds or nesting areas and damage to habitat.

Energy Eyesore Windsolar

Solar farms involve high start-up costs, unreliable and intermittent output, they use a lot of (mainly agricultural) land, create pollution during manufacture, transportation and installation and can adversely affect nearby house prices.

The diversion of funding from conventional reliable power stations to intermittent solar and wind means that the electricity grid struggles to cope at times of peak demand, typically winter evenings, when of course there is no solar power. Conventional gas and coal power stations receive huge sums of money to generate electricity when there is a shortage from wind and solar farms. This capacity shortfall is a serious problem because the Tory government is closing conventional power stations without adequate replacements being available in time. It is impossible to run a modern economy if electricity blackouts become frequent.

UKIP believes agricultural land should be fully utilised to make the UK self-sufficient in food production but windfarms and solar arrays are an ineffectual means to generate power, leaving arable land unused and making the import of food more likely. Manufacturing of windmills and solar panels, plus the increased food-miles from imports and fossil fuel plants still needed to provide 100% backup to the intermittent output of solar electricity panels will all likely offset any minor saving in emissions.

 If you want good, common sense policies, and proper accountability to democratic principles, the only choice now in Bath and Somerset is to join and vote for UKIP. If you agree with us and wish to help our local campaign please contact me at chairman@bathandsomersetukip.org.uk

Steve Grimes
County Chairman and Chairman UKIP Bath & Somerset Branch

Ukip People Not Politics Animated

The UK Needs a Real Opposition Party

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The Conservative Government is presiding over rising national debt, the threat of inflation, illegal immigration, soaring crime, fuel shortages, ever increasing fuel prices, higher and higher taxes and serious damage caused by lock-downs and the global pandemic. They pledged to “get Brexit done” but they failed to take back control of our borders. While our Royal Navy was keeping us safe from invasion by Russians in the Black Sea and from Chinese in the South China Sea, an invasion of the English South Coast has been breaching our home defences. UK Border Force (whose job it is to control our borders) has, instead, been helping economic migrants to cross the English Channel illegally in dinghies and enter the country in thousands.

This Conservatives have failed. They have allowed legal migration to continue in the hundreds of thousands. According to Office for National Statistics estimates, over the year ending March 2020, around 715,000 people moved to the UK. Net migration into the UK totalled 313,000 – the highest in four years. This is close to the all-time record of 331,000 in the year to March 2015. A record 5,000 migrants crossed the English Channel to May, 2021. According to Migration Watch UK, “This is shocking. If it continues at this rate, there will be well over 20,000 illegal arrivals by the end of the year”. 

UKIP stands for free speech, free markets, financial responsibility and traditional British values. UKIP will work to end the suffocating culture of political correctness and the effects of the cancel culture while supporting a vibrant low tax economy where businesses can thrive and take advantage of the great opportunities now open to our nation since leaving the EU.

The LibLabCon cartel is increasingly out of touch with the UK citizen. UKIP is not. We will fight the culture war and save Britain.

The establishment will not stop economic migrants crossing illegally, even though almost all of them need free health care, benefits, housing, food, and legal aid, all of which the UK taxpayer must subsidise. But where are all these new people supposed to live? What will happen to our green spaces? Will there still be space left for us to live? Unlike the LibLabCon parties; UKIP still stands firm against mass uncontrolled immigration and we aim to reduce migration to net zero per annum. If nobody else will do it; UKIP will!

Security, law and order and safety, are top priorities for voters but violent knife and other crime is growing at an astonishing rate everywhere. Yet the LibLabCon parties won’t dare to admit why; or, even worse how to stop it.

The Conservative government has run the country almost unopposed for far too long. The weak, Labour opposition is ineffective and has run out of ideas. It seems to represent only minority interests and rarely speaks up for the legitimate concerns of the majority. What’s more; the Labour opposition would cheerfully take our nation back into the EU Customs Union in a flash; given half a chance. The country is in urgent need of a real opposition party that would speak for the silent majority and defend our nation, while taking on the left-wing woke zealots that continually eat away at the soul of our country.

Backed by Labour and LibDems, and largely unchallenged by the Conservative government, the woke agenda and cancel culture are being actively promoted by mainstream media, schools, universities, and big business. All of them are terrified of not conforming to the new ‘world view’, which is spreading like a cancer. 

BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS! You didn’t ask for it; you don’t want it, so do something about it.

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Scrap the West of England Metro Mayor

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It is time to abolish the devolved West of England Combined Authority says UKIP Bath & Somerset.It is time to abolish the devolved West of England Combined Authority says UKIP Bath & Somerset.

The West of England Combined Authority (“WECA”) sits above the City of Bristol; South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset councils, whose residents vote for the all-powerful Metro Mayor. The title is a misnomer, as it does not cover the whole of the South West region, nor even the whole of traditional Somerset. The only local authority included is Bath & North East Somerset which, while still part of the traditional county of Somerset, is split from the main county as an independent unitary authority in the north.

The West of England’s metro mayor came into being in 2017. The incumbent is primarily responsible for the region’s strategic development of business, skills, housing and transport. This allows the incumbent to wield a great deal of power, over and above Bath & North East Somerset council and its democratically councillors. The local council still remains responsible for its basic public services, such as waste, highways management, schools and leisure facilities, whilst the metro mayor exercises wider powers over issues that span the region, such as economic growth and strategic planning, in particular road building and housing policies.

The following were the first preferences cast at the Metro Mayor election held on 6th May 2021:

Bath and North East Somerset
1 Samuel Williams (CON) 15,278
2 Dan Norris (LAB) 15,135
3 Stephen Williams (LD) 9,451
4 Jerome Thomas (GRN) 7,603
Total 47,467

South Gloucestershire
1 Samuel Williams (CON) 28693
2 Dan Norris (LAB) 19168
3 Stephen Williams (LD) 11689
4 Jerome Thomas (GRN) 8806
Total 68356

City of Bristol
1 Dan Norris (LAB) 50131
2 Jerome Thomas (Green) 38510
3 Samuel Williams (CON) 28444
4 Stephen Williams (LD) 20553
Total 137638

Dan Norris (Labour) ultimately won with the most first and second preference votes (125,482) on a turnout of 36.61% with total number of votes cast 256,632.

So; why does UKIP Bath & Somerset believe that WECA should be scrapped?

1. It is an undemocratic construct

It is clear from the above results that this election weighed unfairly in favour of the City of Bristol and against the two smaller rural communities of South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset. Votes from the much larger City of Bristol (137638) outnumbered the combined votes of the two rural communities (115823). This meant that the majority of voters in rural South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset both voted for a Tory Mayor as their first preference but nonetheless, what they ended up with was a Labour mayor because they were hugely outvoted by the much larger hard-left City of Bristol. The rural communities didn’t stand a chance. 

2. Lack of achievement

It is hard to think of any real achievements from the remote and invisible Metro Mayor. A warning as to the undemocratic nature of his role came when the previous incumbent pushed for the ill-conceived “Bristol Wrong Road”. Almost everyone living to the south of Bristol opposed it because it would consume large swathes of valuable green space around Keynsham and Whitchurch and lead to huge traffic problems, massive unwanted change and development.

3. Costly and wasteful

UKIP believes that devolution is an expensive failed white elephant and we would scrap it. Devolution is an EU inspired concept encouraged by Labour’s Tony Blair and designed to turn the United Kingdom into autonomous regions to weaken the central UK government. Devolution has led to a more costly structure with expensive salaries, expensive buildings; expensive staff; and costly expenses payments all of which lead to higher council tax.

4. Unwanted by the voters

In March 2016, voters in Bath and North East Somerset decisively rejected the idea of having an elected mayor. In a referendum where there was a 29 per cent turnout, only 8000 voted for the change, while more than 30,000 wanted to keep the current system of a leader chosen by fellow councillors. All the political parties, and the area’s two MPs, had opposed the change at that time. However, the, then, Tory government imposed a Metro Mayor against the democratically expressed wishes of the people who live in Bath & North East Somerset. The Combined Authority does not replace the existing local authority but creates a higher level of sub-regional power. George Osborne, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, invited Bath & North East Somerset council to bid for regional devolved powers, as long as it agreed to be subordinate to a directly elected regional mayor. This proposition was never again put to the voters, and thus the undemocratic Metro Mayor concept (with fake democratic accountability) was imposed effectively by decree and without local consent. It is noteworthy that North Somerset Council wisely chose to decline the invitation to be part of the combined authority from the outset, fearing that the vast metropolis of Bristol would eclipse its rural area.

The above is just a summary of the key reasons why UKIP Bath and Somerset opposes the concept of Metro Mayor, and why we refused to take part in the 2021 WECA elections. Our policy is to continue to campaign to abolish the post of Metro Mayor, the functions of which, we believe should more appropriately transfer back to democratic local control under our own local authority.

 

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