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Ukip takes control of its first council

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Ukip has taken control of its first council, winning a 36% share of the vote in Thanet.

The party won 33 of the 56 seats at the Kent district council in last Thursday’s local elections. The Conservatives won 18 seats and Labour four, with one independent. The turnout was 71%.

Peter Reeve, Ukip’s local government spokesman, said it had been “very helpful” in terms of influence that party leader Nigel Farage was standing for election as an MP in South Thanet. Mr Farage failed to win the seat.

However, Mr Reeve said “more fundamental than that…is that actually there is a really good bunch of people who have really worked very hard on very local issues”.  

“It is a good batch of councillors who are all there for absolutely the right reasons,” he added.

A new council leader will be formally appointed at a full council meeting on 21 May.

Last month, Thanet DC appointed a new chief executive, Madeline Homer, who had been acting chief executive and head of paid service since June 2014.

Her appointment came after the resignation of previous incumbent Sue McGonigal in December after some months of sickness leave following a probe in which she was investigated over an alleged conflict of interest in a planning matter. She was exonerated.

 

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