UKIP takes control of first council

The UK Independence Party has taken control of its first council in the UK.

The party has won control of Ramsey Town Council in Cambridgeshire.

UKIP won nine out of 17 seats in an election in which all the seats were contested.

The party already held the Cambridgeshire County Council seat for Ramsey and two of the three Huntingdonshire District Council seats for the ward.

Ramsey Town Council has the same legal status as a parish council with a brief to represent the local community, deliver some local services and improve the quality of life.

Peter Reeve, the UKIP group leader on Huntingdonshire District Council, also won a seat on the town council in the election last week.

Big society

Previously the party had just one seat on the town council.

Mr Reeve, who is also the party's Eastern region organiser, said: "Like all UKIP councillors, we believe in rolling up our sleeves and getting on with the work that needs to be achieved in our local community.

"The Conservatives talk about localism - we are actually practising it.

"We will be standing up for volunteers and the third sector and will be making grants to them to help the big society develop."

He said under UKIP the council would be inclusive and would encourage people to take an interest in their town.

"We are a libertarian party in the centre ground of public opinion," he added.

Mr Reeves' partner Lisa Duffy, also a UKIP town councillor, has become Ramsey's mayor.

She was UKIP's agent in the Barnsley Central by-election in March where the party came second to Labour.

UKIP gained its first local councillors in Newcastle in 2007.

The party now has hundreds of town and parish councillors across the UK and has 23 district councillors, having gained four more in last week's local elections.

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