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UKIP confident of seats in Redbridge election
The chairman of UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Redbridge is confident his party will win seats in Thursday's election.
Michael McGough said there is a targeted "concentration" of candidates in certain winnable wards.
The party, which is making headlines nationally for its call for tight immigration controls and belief Britain should leave the European Union, has not set out a tailored manifesto for Redbridge.
However, each ward has sent out leaflets outlining what they hope to achieve.
Mr McGough said: "Our candidates all adopt the basic ethos of the party and we would like them to work together, but we expect them to take an independent approach and address what their residents want.
"We want a good representation at a local level to give us a better standing at the European election."
A total of 16 Ukip candidates will stand in half the borough's wards, with three each in Hainault, Fairlop and Bridge.
Explaining the strategy, Mr McGough said: "There is a lack of candidates and we tried to make sure we were fielding at least one candidate in each ward, but instead we're concentrating our efforts in other wards.
"I think we have a good chance of winning in Hainault because our candidates known the territory, and we have a high percentage of members in the area."
Bridge ward candidate Simon Hearn stood as a Conservative candidate in Chadwell in the 2006, but joined UKIP in 2013.
His new party has been plagued with accusations of racism following comments made by some members.
Leader Nigel Farage recently said immigrants from Romania were more likely to be criminals than people from other countries.
But Mr Hearn, a school premises manager at Roding Valley High School in Loughton, believes Ukip is the only party "prepared to address people's concerns".
The 50-year-old said: "I wouldn't belong to a racist party and as you know we do not take members of BNP or the national front.
"We are not against immigration per se, but we are against uncontrolled immigration."
The main priorities set out by the party include introducing local referendums on major planning applications and service provision decisions.
The party has also pledged to give local people priority over housing, protect green belt land from development and keep council tax frozen.
In the list of candidates in our local elections section we erroneously stated Simon Hearn was standing for the BNP in Bridge ward. This has now been corrected and we are happy to confirm this is not the case and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
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