In the four principal council elections held on the 13th November the Lib Dems held one seat and the Tories held two. The BNP gained one seat from Independents. There were two parish council elections reported to ALDC, both were Tory holds.
In the Fenside Ward of Boston Borough Council in Lincolnshire we had a perfect storm for the BNP that many local residents who did not vote will probably live to regret. Until 2007 the ward had elected Labour councillors when the local pressure group campaigning for a by-pass for the town stood a slate of candidates winning 27 of the 32 councils seats. Since then the wave of local euphoria has ebbed with no progress on the bypass other than rumours of a back room deal. A succession of defections and disqualifications has reduced the “BBI”’s numbers to 18. So an area let down by the established parties, with little Lib Dem presence opts for change and gets let down again. Add to this mix one of the largest local employers, Geest, sold its many local food processing businesses in 2005. Until now this has not been an issue but the purchaser was Bakkavor, an Icelandic firm and many are now concerned for their jobs With large Portuguese and East European communities the BNP has had fertile ground. Our small local team stood a candidate and delivered an A3 and an A4 but on a poor turnout the disillusioned electorate has voted in a racist. The BNP stand in about 25% of local council elections. If one is called in your area assume the BNP are going to stand and prepare accordingly. ALDC has updated and re-published “Tackling the BNP” available online on our website www.aldc.org. to help you combat the threat of the far right.
In the Markfield Stanton and Field Head ward of Hinckley and Bosworth Council in Leicestershire we were fighting the squeeze in a Labour/Tory marginal. The Tories stooped to new lows exploiting and distorting issues around travellers yet we still managed to hold back the BNP and increase our vote by 12.8 % at Labour’s expense.