Stamford’s first UK Independence Party county councillor says he wants to focus on local issues rather than national debates.
Rob Foulkes, of Oak Road, Stamford, won Thursday’s Lincolnshire County Council by-election in the Stamford North ward by 132 votes.
Coun Foulkes, who unsuccessfully stood for election to South Kesteven District Council in 2011, said: “What I want to do is work for and listen to the people in all of Stamford, and particularly in my ward.”
Coun Foulkes admitted he was new to the political game. But he is already getting on top of the talking points in Stamford.
He said: “One of the big issues is housing. Particularly Stamford’s infrastructure, and is it going to be sufficient to cope with the numbers.”
More than 400 homes have been granted planning permission in the town.
Coun Foulkes added: “Another thing is facilities for the elderly. A lady I spoke to yesterday was not particularly happy with what’s around.
“I want to talk to people and find out what it is that concerns them, and then go into battle for them.”
Although he belongs to Ukip, Coun Foulkes said his party allegiance would not affect his work on the county council.
“I want to be a proper representative of Stamford,” he said. “Ukip doesn’t have a party whip. My priorities are community ahead of party.
“I put the interests of Stamford ahead of the interests of Ukip.”
Stamford has traditionally been a Conservative stronghold, although Coun Foulkes succeeds the Lincolnshire Independent John Hicks, who sadly died in October. He admitted he was not expecting to win, but added: “I think the stars are becoming aligned for Ukip and they are becoming more popular, and you can only see their share of the vote increasing.”
A total of 1,270 votes were cast in last week’s by-election and the turnout was 17.6 per cent. The full results are as follows:
Robert Foulkes (Ukip): 400; Mark Ashberry (Labour): 268; Matthew Lee (Conservative): 261; Max Sawyer (Lincolnshire Independents): 199; Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem): 142.
Lincolnshire County Council has 77 elected members. There are now 35 Conservatives, 12 Labour, 12 UKip, eight Lincolnshire Independents, three Independence from Europe, and four Liberal Democrats.