UKIP look to spring a surprise as Lib Dems and Labour slug it out - a round-up of Haringey's 2014 local elections (From This Is Local London)
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UKIP look to spring a surprise as Lib Dems and Labour slug it out - a round-up of Haringey's 2014 local elections
UKIP are looking to pull off a shock result and secure a seat in Haringey at this month’s local elections - but the main contest looks set to be a slugging match between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
The controversial anti-EU party has fielded a record eight candidates in the borough, and appears to be targeting Crouch End and Woodside wards for an unlikely place on the council.
The Conservatives meanwhile, who have not had a seat in Haringey since 1994, are pulling out all the stops to secure an elusive seat in the Tottenham area, fielding candidates from diverse backgrounds in all 27 available seats.
Free 30-minute parking slots and a £1million investment in the borough’s roads are among the Tory pledges they hope will win over voters, who have previously been apathetic towards the blue rosette.
Group chairman and Seven Sisters candidate Justin Hinchcliffe said: "The turnout will be lower this year as there is no general election so that helps the opposition parties.
"We're getting a good response on the doorstep but whether or not that translates to votes, who knows. The campaign is going well though and we're quietly confident of getting a seat."
The Green Party is also mounting a strong challenge, fielding 57 candidates across all 19 wards, promising to protect public services, introduce fairer rents for families and increase provisions for young people.
'Working class people have had enough'
Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) members make up 20 of the election candidates, with representatives from the RMT Union and community action groups put forward to secure a seat never before won by the party.
TUSC representative Paula Mitchell said: “Working class people have had enough of austerity. People are losing their homes and vital services are being shut down. If we could win a seat or two it would be fantastic.”
Labour has not lost control of the north London borough since 1971, when it was ousted for three years after a defeat to the Tories in 1968.
'It's going to be a tough fight'
The Liberal Democrats look most likely to challenge their dominance, promising to freeze council tax for four years if they are elected, as well as backing local campaigns for improvements at Ducketts Common and Finsbury Park tube station.
But the group has come under criticism for fielding six candidates that live outside the borough.
Group leader Richard Wilson said: “We know it’s going to be a tough fight. But after the sort of problems we’ve had in Haringey with money being wasted, people are very receptive to our message.”
'They're treating the people of Haringey with contempt'
Labour’s main pledges focus on freezing council tax until 2018, investing £25million in making roads and pavements safer for pedestrians and cyclists, delivering 1,000 new affordable homes and investing a further £1millionto put more police on the streets.
Group leader Claire Kober said: “The Lib Dems are treating the people of Haringey with contempt by asking them to vote for candidates who don’t live in the borough.
"In contrast, Haringey Labour is pleased to present a strong and diverse set of candidates who truly represent Haringey and are proud to call Haringey their home.”
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