Parties seeking to maximise votes as election day looms in South Lakeland

One of Kendal Park and Oxenholme Residents’ Association’s posters

One of Kendal Park and Oxenholme Residents’ Association’s posters

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PARTY officials are working on their final touches to persuade voters to back them against a backdrop of claims and denials about political pamphlets being misleading, making mischief or just plain old ‘dirty tricks’.

The Kendal Green Party reported some of their posters had been deliberately pinned to trees and condemned the practice.

And the 120-member Kendal Park and Oxenholme Residents’ Association say 14 of their 20 protest posters have ‘gone’.

Secretary Liz Teasdale, of Hayclose Crescent, has no theories who removed them or if it was political, but added: ‘It wasn’t the wind’.

The ‘No To Development’ posters mentioned the ‘local elections’ but did not encourage allegiance to any party.

Mrs Teasdale said they were a rally for residents to vote if they were against 200 new homes on land off Kendal Parks and the Hayclose Crescent areas, as well on fields behind Valley Drive.

Seventeen seats are up for election to South Lakeland District Council and voters will go to 18 polling stations from Kendal to Casterton, from Barbon to Dent and from Mansergh across to Garsdale.

All 28 seats on Kendal Town Council are up-for-grabs, while across in Sedbergh, 12 people are standing for the 11 seats on its parish council, and five for the seven seats on Natland Parish Council.

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The Wesmorland and Lonsdale Liberal Democrats’ say membership is up by about 15 per cent in the last year and are planning some high street ‘target work’ tomorrow as well as the standard telephone push to get voters into polling booths on May 22.

Local Conservatives are buoyant after finally opening a new HQ in Kendal town centre – taking over the Union Tavern - and have a specific voter-targeted project in mind for next week but are remaining tight-lipped until then.

South Lakes Labour say it has ‘knocked on thousands of doors so far’ and ‘will continue to do so up to polling day and beyond’.

Newcomer Kendal Green Party say it has delivered 20,000 leaflets and launched a new website this week with a three-page manifesto.

UKIP – standing in four of the 17 seats – are understood to have done a single round of leaflet dropping in some areas but have so far maintained a low media profile – perhaps hoping to win votes on the back of high public awareness of leader Nigel Farage.

All of the parties are waiting for the weather forecast for next Thursday as a spell of sun may just get more people into polling stations.

Also on May 22, 83 candidates are standing for 11 different political parties in the European Parliamentary Elections.

The full list of parties is: An Independent From Europe Party, the British National Party, Conservative, English Democrats, Green Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, No2EU, Pirate Party UK, Socialist Equality Party and the UK Independence Party.

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