• Emissions charge plans are demonising drivers

    Jill_Seymour.jpegUKIP’s Transport Spokesman Jill Seymour MEP has accused the Mayor of London of ‘demonising’ drivers by proposing a £10 emissions surcharge for the use of older cars in the city.

    She said the plans, which are due to come into force next October, were totally out of proportion, and would penalise families which were least able to afford it.

    “Once again, the authorities are treating the motorist as a cash cow, to be milked at will,” she said. “This policy will hit elderly drivers and less affluent families the hardest. It is not the car which is causing the worst air pollution in our cities. It is large diesel engine vehicles such as buses, trains and trucks. Yes once again, it is the car driver which is targeted.

    “In a perfect world, of course everyone would like to be driving round in a luxurious new car fitted with the latest environmentally-friendly features, but the majority of people can’t afford it.”

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  • A 50 year wait for homes in London is a disgrace

    PeterHarris.jpgPeople in the borough of Barking and Dagenham now face a 50-year wait for a council house, a senior Councillor from the ruling Labour Group has said in a forthcoming BBC documentary. Maureen Worby, the councillor in charge of social care for Barking and Dagenham, told a local meeting with regard to the waiting list for council housing: “Do you know what – it’s not a 10-year wait, it’s a 50-year wait.”

    The BBC documentary, ‘No Place to Call Home’ to be broadcast on BBC 2 at 9pm tonight, is the culmination of nine months the team behind the programme spent following housing officials and the people they are trying to help in the borough. Among those featured are a 54-year-old special needs teacher forced to sleep in her car after losing her job, a family with a young son who have spent three years sleeping on friends’ sofas and a young woman who does not qualify for help despite having tried to kill herself.

    Peter Harris, UKIP's Chairman in Barking and Dagenham, and a former Parliamentary candidate for the area said, "This Labour Council should be charged with criminal neglect. Even with the knowledge of the chronic shortage of Social Housing, their current house building plans simply fail to address this situation.

    "The programme's findings are no surprise to me or thousands of local residents. The chronic housing situation here is abysmal and is as a direct result of decades of failed policies from both Conservative and Labour Governments.

    "I am contacted every week by residents that find themselves homeless or living in overcrowded and unsuitable accommodation. Many are desperate for someone to help as they feel the council are not listening.

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  • Nominations open for Party Leader candidates

    Our Party Chairman Paul Oakden writes, 

    At a meeting of our National Executive Committee this afternoon, the process was agreed for selecting who will become the new Leader of UKIP.

    These next few weeks will be incredibly important, in deciding which direction our party will now travel. We know that our grassroots are now optimistically looking forward to getting behind our new Leader.

    Having listened to the concerns of members during our last leadership election, this process is not only designed to be efficient and speedy, it is also designed to give as many members as possible the opportunity to put their name forward. It will also seek to ensure that those members applying have the requisite commitment before submitting their application form.

    We are now inviting members to apply, which they can do by clicking here.

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  • More good news for SMEs

    Margot_11_(1).jpgMargot Parker, UKIP’s small business spokesman and MEP for the East Midlands, says she is pleased at the news of increased investment in exports by small businesses.

    “The SME confidence tracker shows more small businesses are looking at exporting than before the referendum vote in June. It is clear the potential for global trade after Brexit is being realised by many small businesses and they are already looking at ways to grasp the many opportunities we will now have.

    “It is quite revealing – only six per cent of small businesses exported to the EU, yet all were subject to EU laws and regulations. That so many more already feel liberated to more fully engage with the world is very encouraging and I am sure we will see these figures continue to rise as the UK reclaims its place as a global trading nation.

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  • Stop the NHS parking scam

    PaulNuttall1.jpgOne third of hospital trusts have increased their car parking charges despite pledges of a Government clampdown. An investigation reveals that some hospitals are now charging four times as much as city centre car parks, with sick patients and those visiting loved ones paying up to £4 an hour. The figures show that in the last year, one third of NHS trusts have increased their average charge for a three-hour period.

    Paul Nuttall MEP said: “It is disgraceful that hospital trusts continue to hike up the costs of hospital car parking. Hospital parking charges hit people when they are typically at their most stressed and anxious. Going to hospital as a patient or visitor is a stressful enough thing at the best of times. But when car parks are run as revenue maximising assets rather than as a facility for people it adds significantly to the stress.

    “We in UKIP have for many years opposed hospital car parking charges as we regard them as little more than a tax on the sick and the vulnerable. Plus carers have a tough enough time as it is without expecting them to fork out every time they offer up their time to visit someone in hospital.

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  • Margot Parker MEP urges Government to make Brexit a success

    Margot_11_(1).jpgMargot Parker, UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, believes the Government should explore using as many tools as possible to make Brexit a success, saying “As a country we already have links around the world, especially through the Commonwealth, as well as the infrastructure and institutions to make our re-engagement with the world a massive success.

    “Opposition to the very concept of Brexit by certain institutions and even Government departments might cause some very good opportunities to be missed – possibly even intentionally.

    “One example is the BBC World Service. The World Service reaches 100's of millions of people every week in an impressive, and growing, array of languages. While retaining more impartiality than the parts of the BBC focused on domestic broadcasting, we must make sure the World Service does not serve as a vehicle for ‘talking down’ the UK post-Brexit – indeed, it should do the opposite.

    “Given its audience and penetration, and aspirations to reach even more people all over the world, even a neutral tone when dealing with Brexit would be helpful and go a long way towards compensating for the more hysterical coverage and statements some are making in the UK.

    “Since the World Service is funded by Government, specifically the department now run by Boris Johnson, I would hope its potential to be a massive and positive contributor to how the world sees the UK is fully explored and utilised.

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  • Court of Auditors Report 2015 – the silliest examples of waste with big money

    thumbnail_COAMAINSTILL.jpgThe European Union's Court of Auditors has failed to give the accounts a clean bill of health for the 22nd year in a row. The report, which can be read here, blasts the payments underlying the accounts as being 'materially affected by error', leading the Court to issue an adverse opinion on the legality and regularity of the payments underlying the accounts. An adverse opinion is rare in accountancy, and is issued only in serious cases where there has been a substantial departure from generally accepted accounting principles.

    In the 320-page report, the Court of Auditors blasted various examples of EU waste and mismanagement. But the Court of Auditor's findings only told a small part of the true scale of EU wastefulness, because only a small sample of all expenditure is scrutinised by the Court. There are undoubtedly many similar examples which will simply never be found. The error rate is 3.8%, almost double the 2% threshold which is the maximum considered acceptable by the Court of Auditors, affecting a whopping €5.4 billion of EU spending.

    UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott, a member of the EP's budget control committee said: "It's a good thing that the British people voted to leave the European Union when we did because the levels of waste and bureaucracy are absolutely breath-taking. That's the nature of a system that simply isn't fit for purpose.

    "These examples of waste would make you think the EU is being run by 'Count Von Count' from Sesame Street. Taxpayers' money is being wasted left, right and centre, the EU has obviously lost control of the money tap. I am sure that when we're outside the EU we can cut waste, when we can cut out the middleman and look after our own businesses ourselves."

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  • UKIP Thurrock Cllrs visit schools for Democracy Week

    Thurrock_Councillors052616_72.jpgThis week UKIP Thurrock Councillors have been visiting local schools for democracy week. Cllr David Potter, Cllr Angela Sheridan and Cllr Graham Hamilton attended Ockendon Academy. Cllr Jack Duffin attended St Clere's School. Tomorrow Cllr Angela Sheridan will be visiting the Harris Academy.

    UKIP Thurrock's Education Spokesman, Cllr Angela Sheridan said: "It was great to visit our local schools this week. I was very impressed with our students and the schools that I visited.

    "We have some incredibly bright and promising students who will make fantastic Councillors in the future. It's great to see people of all ages engaging in politics and holding Councillors to account.

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  • Anger at Government’s decision to press ahead with HS2

    P1000955-300x225.jpgUKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has expressed her disappointment at the Government’s decision to press ahead with the HS2 rail link – despite growing protests over the spiralling cost of the project. Mrs Seymour, who has been a vocal opponent of the scheme since it was first announced, dismissed claims by transport secretary Chris Grayling that the line was needed ‘more than ever’.

    She said: “HS2 has never been needed. It is just a vanity project with an ever-growing budget, which is edging closer to the £100 billion mark. It will never pay its way, and will always be a burden on the taxpayer.

    “Today’s news is a huge disappointment. I had hoped that Prime Minister Theresa May was going to see sense, and either scrap HS2 altogether, or at the very least seek a cheaper alternative. But it is clear that the Government remains hell-bent on throwing billions of pounds at HS2, when it would be much wiser to concentrate on improving our ageing nationwide infrastructure.

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  • Margot Parker MEP to speak at ground-breaking India Week in Stamford

    Margot_11_(1).jpgMargot Parker MEP will visit Stamford Endowed School on Friday to help celebrate India Week. The school has recently won a Discovery Democracy Award from HM Cabinet Office and is now forging links with two schools in Vellore, India, through a new project - Lincs to India. The project is being led by students from different age groups and chaired by Year 12 pupil Zishi Zhang. The venture will include fundraising, sending books and hopefully, introducing computers. A long term goal is for exchanges to be organised where visits can take place in both countries.

    Margot will talk at the event, focusing on empowering women to gain an education and create their own way in life. She said: "I was delighted to be asked to speak at the event and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the school is continuing to establish links between the two communities to foster mutual understanding and tolerance.

    "Many world and government organisations have agreed that the most effective methods of creating knowledge, dialogue and economic effectiveness is through small scale operations which are easier to manage and can stay true to their founding ideals.

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