Wales politics

Labour council dominance must be broken, UKIP AM says

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Media captionGareth Bennett said some members of the party were put off from standing

Labour has had it "far too easy" in councils across Wales and its "cadre" of control must be broken down, UKIP AM David Rowlands has said.

The party is fielding 80 candidates in 14 authorities in Wales in the local election campaign.

While it cannot win full control where it is competing, the party hopes it may hold the balance of power in some.

Mr Rowlands said UKIP would work with "whoever we feel has the policies that interact with ours".

UKIP is pitching that a vote for the party is a break from the current system and its councillors do not work to a party whip but represent electors as they see fit.

Labour has overall control of 10 out of 22 authorities in Wales, all in the south. UKIP is standing in some of those authorities.

UKIP claims council services are stretched because of immigration and says it will prevent overdevelopment of the countryside, protect pensioners and look after veterans.

Mr Rowlands, AM for South Wales East, said: "For far too long now Labour has dominated local government.

"They've done nothing particularly in the valleys towns. They've left them to wither on the vine."

He said UKIP "will be working with whoever we feel has the policies that interact with ours and to try to mitigate some of the problems we're having with Labour party local government".

Labour have "had it far too easy," he added.

"We have to break down this cadre of Labour-controlled councils."

On Thursday, UKIP AM Gareth Bennett said some UKIP members were put off from standing in council elections due to appearances.

The party is fielding 80 in this year's Welsh local elections, which he said was "pretty good for us compared to where we were five years ago in Wales".

But, he added: "Sometimes our members aren't keen on standing because they don't think sometimes running for UKIP is going to look good on their CVs."

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