17:46 Friday 5th April 2013
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
[C]HRIS MANN: Ukip has revealed the seats it will fight at the up and coming County Council elections on May 2nd. They are to contest all seats in both Fenland and Huntingdonshire, and it shows that their promised push is certainly going to take place here in the East of England. Let’s bring in a County Councillor and one of their organisers for the area, Peter Reeve. Hello Peter.
PETER REEVE: Good afternoon.
CHRIS MANN: So just tell us the news in terms of Cambridgeshire and what you’re going to fight.
PETER REEVE: Yes. Starting with the East of England we’re fighting 318 of the 380 seats, so most of the East of England itself will have a Ukip candidate. Here in Cambridgeshire we’re fighting 54 of the 69 seats that are up.
CHRIS MANN: Ok. Let’s not talk about the individual ..
PETER REEVE: So you can have a Ukip led Council if people want it.
CHRIS MANN: Ok. Don’t talk about individual seats, that’s all I’m going to ask you.
PETER REEVE: Yes.
CHRIS MANN: Otherwise we’ve to name the candidates for all of them. But your push is for many of them in Fenland and Huntingdonshire. And obviously you’re hoping to impact on perhaps the Conservatives mostly.
PETER REEVE: Well we’ve got candidates standing all over Cambridgeshire. In East Cambs we’re standing in seven of the nine seats, and South Cambs eleven of the sixteen seats. But that’s right, in Fenland and Huntingdonshire where we’re strongest, and we saw in the police elections we beat the Tories in Fenland and came very close to beating them in Huntingdonshire, in the police commissioner elections. So we’re hoping to get some really strong results. At the end of the day, it’s up to the people out there. We have got Nigel Farage coming to Cambridgeshire on 10th April as part of our Commonsense Tour, going round the country. So people will have the opportunity to come and speak to Nigel, to see him ..
CHRIS MANN: Ok. You’re a party that’s all about getting out of Europe. What’s that got to do with the County Council?
PETER REEVE: We certainly are all about getting out of Europe, and most people out there think that’s common sense too. Here in Cambridgeshire ..
CHRIS MANN: There’s nothing the County Council can do about that.
PETER REEVE: Here in Cambridge, on the County Council where we’ve got a group, it was Ukip who opposed the tax rises that are really hurting people. Cambridgeshire Conservatives are picking the pockets of local residents. It was us who opposed the pay rise that the Conservatives were going to give to themselves, a 25% pay rise, whilst then raising the taxes of local people.
CHRIS MANN: Well it wasn’t a payrise. That’s an outrageous statement. An allowance rise, which is something different.
PETER REEVE: These allowances that go to County Councillors ..
CHRIS MANN: But that’s not pay.
PETER REEVE: .. are a salary. They’re taxed like a salary. So Ukip are simply saying, yes, give Councillors whatever their out of pocket expenses are, but it should be a privilege to be a County Councillor in Cambridgeshire, not something that’s some lucrative scheme, and people are filling their pockets whilst the people of Cambridgeshire suffer. That’s what Ukip are saying.
CHRIS MANN: You think Councillors fill their pockets?
PETER REEVE: I certainly do. Some of them are earning a small fortune. People out there would be quite surprised at some of the allowances that Councillors, Conservative Councillors in Cambridgeshire are getting, especially when you look at the Special Responsibility Allowances. Now we’re all for it being accessible to everybody. We’re all for out of pocket expenses being paid. But some of these people really are making a career out of politics. We in Ukip are simply saying, perhaps when times were good, the country was on the up, perhaps that was acceptable. But don’t try and pay yourself more, although it was overturned of course so they weren’t allowed to do it in the end.
CHRIS MANN: These are allowances, not pay. Peter Reeve, thank you for joining us.