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UKIP win first two seats on Wakefield Council

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UKIP has won its first two seats on Wakefield Council.

Firefighter Nick Farmer took the Ossett ward from Conservative Ian Bunney after a recount.

And David Dews was elected as councillor for Wrenthorpe and Outwood West as UKIP took the Tory seat.

Speaking after his result was announced Coun Farmer, who has served in the fire service for 27 years, said: “I am lost for words and it’s not very often that happens.

“I only stood for election because I was fed up of hearing about all the cuts on TV and I am a bit disillusioned by it all.

“I want to stand up and be counted and I think what’s happened during the past 24 hours in the elections across the country is massive.”

And the leader of the Conservative party Geoff Walsh lost his seat to George Ayre as Labour gained the Pontefract South seat.

Mr Walsh, who has served the ward since 2006, said: “It looks very much as if I’ve been part of a national trend - vote UKIP, get Labour.

Coun Ayre, 23, who grew up in Pontefract, said: “It’s fantastic to be elected. We worked really hard to win this seat.

“It’s very humbling but the hard work starts now. I really want to make an impact and help the people of Pontefract.”

The Mayor of Wakefield Janet Holmes managed to hold onto her Horbury and South Ossett seat.

Coun Holmes, who was facing election for the first time since her husband and former councillor Brian died, beat UKIP candidate Graham Jesty.

She said: “To win by almost 500 votes is fantastic. It will help me to get over last year. I worked so hard as mayor and if I would have had to stop straight away I would have been back to square one.”

Labour also managed to take the Wakefield Rural seat with Kevin Swift winning most votes.

Councillor Ahmed Nadeem managed to hold on to his Wakefield South seat.

Wilf Benson, standing as an Independent, won South Elmsall and South Kirkby, taking the seat from Labour’s Laurie Harrison.

Coun Benson said: “I am shell shocked because I was up against a top councillor who has served for a number of years. I did not think I had a chance. I am over the moon.”

There was a 30.17 per cent turn out for Thursday’s elections.

Labour managed to gain two seats with the Conservatives losing five.

Wakefield Council is now made up of 54 Labour councillors, six Conservatives, two UKIP councillors and a one independent.

See next week’s Express for a full round-up.

 

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