UKIP councillor: Government's immigration policy led people to us (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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UKIP councillor: Government's immigration policy led people to us
A UKIP councillor re-elected with a majority of more than 100 votes has said the coalition government's policy on immigration is driving people in Epping Forest to his party.
Last week Cllr Rod Butler was re-elected to Honey Lane ward in Waltham Abbey to serve a second term.
Mr Butler, who beat his Conservative rival Simon Kane by 105 votes, said people in his ward were supportive of Nigel Farage's party because they are “fed up” with the way the country is being run.
He said: "I am very pleased, it was a big increase in the majority. I scraped through with 10 votes last time and this year it is over 100.
" I think people are realising that immigration is affecting local services.
"If you want a doctor's appointment you have to wait a week, there's too many people on the housing lists, people are turned away from hospitals in the middle of the night and still there are people pouring in from Europe.
"A few years ago people would not disclose who they voted for, there was a stigma around it.
"Now, many of the people I have spoken to volunteer the fact that they support Nigel Farage and his basic principles."
Cllr Butler said his focus is more on what he can do for the people in the district than on national policy.
This term he said he is continuing his fight to preserve green belt land in the district.
"I will try to promote UKIP in a positive light," he said.
"I have spoken to hundreds of people with concerns from rubbish bins to dog poo.
"I think at the moment parking is one of the biggest concerns in Waltham Abbey."
Cllr Butler believes UKIP will do well at the general election next year but said he would wait until the party's manifesto is released later this year before discussing national policies.
He also rejected claims the party is racist.
"The party does not accept anybody with affiliation to the BNP, they check up on those things.
"Some people have made silly comments and been slung out, and rightly so.
"I think we are going to gain some MPs in the election next year. It is all looking pretty positive."