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Oct 14 2013

Jeremy Says: UKIP Candidate for Harrow on the Hill

jeremy_zeid3Having easily collected the prerequisite ten signatures and had my application approved, I have been approved as the UKIP candidate for the Harrow on the Hill by-election on the 7th November.

I consider this by-election completely unnecessary especially so close to the main elections next May. Had Cllr Gate waited a few weeks, then no election would have been necessary, saving the taxpayer £30,000, the cost of running it, plus the cost to the parties and their contributors.

It seems that Labour is playing games in the hope that they can claw back control of the Borough they have so lamentably failed. The word shameless springs to mind. If they are prepared to waste £30,000 of Other Peoples Money before an election in an exercise of petty power-play, this can only bode ill should Labour ever be in power again.

As I see it, Harrow on the Hill is a very diverse ward steeped in history, containing some of our most treasured heritage that needs to be looked after. Likewise we have a wide range of businesses that bring jobs, variety and life to the area, who should be helped to flourish. As a seasoned campaigner for residents and a successful former Councillor I can bring that experience to the table.

Looking forward to the campaign; it will focus on serving residents and addressing local issues, infrastructure etc., especially considering the pressures on household and business finances.

I fully expect the main parties to complain that UKIP “will split the vote” or “hand the seat to whoever”, a bogus argument. We are a well established Party currently polling as the third largest group. That stupid argument implies that no-one should be allowed to muscle in on what is seen to be “their” territory. Sorry, folks, this is England, and this is democracy, get used to it.

With some of the other parties threatening people with more mansion taxes, asset taxes, penalties and controls and hammering the business environment, in the name of “revenue” and “fairness” is neither acceptable nor fair and merely adds to a sense of gloom. It damages employment prospects, as well as fuelling an ever growing contempt for the Council, government and the political process, reflected in falling electoral turnouts, a wholly bad thing.

Using National policies as a tactic to divert attention away from local failure is not acceptable, although questions that residents may have for local, national or international matters will always be raised, hence a short FAQ on the back of my first leaflet that will be distributed this week.

I intend to bring a fresh and open approach to the Ward, and to rebalance the relationship between the Council and Residents, regularly reminding the former that they serve the latter, not the other way around.

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You can download the front and back of this flyer here.

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10 comments

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  1. Colin Gray

    I agree with Jeremy that this by-election is quite unnecessary. Most residents understand that Ann Gate must have been through a terrible time recently, but if she had delayed her resignation for another 6 or 7 weeks then the vacancy would be left vacant until the May 2014 elections.

    I am curious to know where Jeremy got his figure of £30,000 as the cost of the election, it seems like a figure plucked out of thin air. A December 2012 by-election in Walsall cost that council an estimated £15,000 for a ward with an electorate of over 10,000 voters (i.e. about 15% bigger than Harrow on the Hill), see: http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2012/jan/13/democracy-local-government-elections .

    Additionally, Jeremy blames Labour for the by-election: is it known for certain whether the two electors who demanded the poll were requested to do so by Labour? If the Returning Officer had received no request then the by-election would not be taking place, probably to the satisfaction of most people. In St. Helens, a council vacancy has remained unfilled since May this year because no request from two local government electors has been received.

    Of course the election will cost the local political parties as well, but that amount is up to them (but with a maximum controlled by legislation).

  2. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    I was given the approximate cost by a well placed source. It may indeed turn out less than £30,000, but this is London, not Walsall and everything is a lot dearer.

    Also, the political scene is far more active here. If Labour hadn’t triggered the election by Anne Gate resigning, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    As for the cost to the political parties, that is up to them, subject to a statutory maximum.

    I self-fund my own UKIP candidacy and as a consequence get the best value for my money. The West Harrow by-election came out at just over £105 including nearly 20,000 A4 and A5 leaflets, A6 cards, 10x rosettes and 10x button badges.

    As I already have the badges and rosettes, that expense is excluded. I aim to put out about 15,000 A4 and A5 leaflets and A6 cards in total.

    I produce them all myself, mainly black and white, using budget paper and massively discounted recycled C3909a toner cartridges from ebay. I am reckoning that I will spend about £70.

    The big two, Labour and the Conservatives will be spending close on £1,000 each.

    As I have said repeatedly. I don’t waste my money and I won’t waste yours.

  3. All things good

    If what Jeremy Zeid asserts is true, then can someone from the Council ie the returning officer Hugh Peart, Susan Hall or someone representing Labour please explain on this forum how this has come about, and who is responsible for triggering this by election? I and others are getting fed up to the back teeth with Harrow Council wasting hard earned taxpayers money! Explanations please!

  4. Colin Gray

    I would like to thank Jeremy for his reply, although I would disagree that running an election is significantly more expensive in London. Certainly there will be lower printing and distribution costs for Harrow compared with Walsall because of the lower electorate. Additionally, in recent years, Harrow has saved money by holding by-election counts on the Friday morning, using regular Civic Centre staff, thus avoiding overtime costs for Thursday night staff.

  5. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    It’s true that we hold the count on Friday, but all I can say is that a well placed source gave me the figure, it may well be less, hopefuly not more.

    Just to make a point. The Local Authority and Mr Peart have little say in the triggering of a by election. Any two registered-to-vote residents of a ward can request an election should one become available via a resignation, death etc.

    I have no idea who triggered it. All I can say is that it was unnecessary at this late stage of the electoral cycle. But as it has been called, the Authority has no option but to go through the democratic process. I am sure that most people would prefer that democracy is written into the function and cost of the Council, firstly because the right to vote must be preserved, but also it reminds the authority that they are supposedly for the people and by the people. Trite, but true.

    My partaking will add no overall costs as the election was occurring anyway. Besides, we have something to bring to the table, plus it shakes the current main parties out of their comfort zones.

  6. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    By the way Colin, I really like your website. I’ll have a root around, I think I have a few leaflets and things for you to add to your literature collection.

  7. Colin Gray

    Thanks for the comment! Is this the first time you have accessed it? Any images of leaflets etc, preferably in jpeg format, can be e-mailed to the address on the web site.

  8. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    Have looked at the site before and you have a really impressive set of electoral history. I have a scan of a rather tatty election leaflet from 1939 that I found under a neighbour’s floor when sorting out their plumbing. Should make a useful addition. The thing is that it could have been written by me.

  9. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Hugh Peart is NOT the Returning Officer – Michael Lockwood is! £30K is the rough cost of a Harrow by-election but if you want an exact figure then foi the West Harrow one! I suspect that only Ann Gate knows why Ann Gate chose to stand down at this time – again foi who called it! I don’t reckon Labour engineered it because they would have had no way of knowing that Jeremy Zeid and Eileen Kineer would run which I think now gives them an advantage as it’s likely to split the Tory vote into thirds. It remains to be seen the effect the ILG will have on the vote. A needless waste of £30K I agree; but now that it’s happened the residents might as well sit back and enjoy the fight; I mean shower; I mean show; I mean the by-election (phew-got there in the end!

  10. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    Will; I think shower may be the most apt description as it’s bloody raining again.

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