Long-standing Lib Dem councillor and former Mayor of Burnley Roger Frost slammed the policies of the UK Independence Party as “unacceptable” and said voters were not aware of their domestic policies.
Coun. Frost, a respected local historian, held his Briercliffe seat with 682 votes but with a much reduced majority after UKIP candidate Ian Metcalf gained 410 votes.
Coun. Frost, who also announced he will not be seeking re-election, next time, said he was disappointed in the people of Briercliffe who had voted for UKIP.
He said: “I have got to admit it was disappointing so many people voted for UKIP in a place like Briercliffe which you don’t normally associate with the kind of policies they have got.
“There was no forum available before this election where I could debate their policies with them.
“When you analyse what some UKIP supporters want it’s just not acceptable in a civilised democracy.
“I know I will be unpopular for saying that but I honestly don’t care. People should realise that UKIP want the public to pay for everything.
“People of my age, that is pensioners, would have to pay 77% more tax than current Lib Dem levels.
“None of that was mentioned in their election campaign. Local councils are about domestic policies.
“Issues like employment, regeneration, housing, parks and whether people’s bins get emptied. It has nothing to do with the wider European issue.
“We are interested in what goes on in Burnley. Over the last 10 years we have achieved a great deal. Burnley Council has been one of the most forward-thinking councils in the country under the Lib Dems and Labour.
“We’ve both been punished at the polls, but thank God UKIP haven’t gained any seats. UKIP have come in on the coat tails of Nigel Farage, but no-one knows what they want to do locally.”
But the chairman of UKIP’s East Lancs branch, Tom Commis, who came second in the Cliviger with Worsthorne ward, said the three main parties were “indistinguishable from each other”.
He said: “We are here now. People are sick of the way politicians operate and they are sick of the snide way they treat ordinary people and their concerns.
“They say they will take it on board, listen and reflect, but don’t say they’ll do anything. I think that’s what people are angry about.
“We have fielded four candidates this year, but I am confident that next time we can put up 10 candidates. This is new to us, we don’t really understand the mechanics but in a way that’s a good thing.”