EX-TORY TO STAND FOR UKIP

A BUSINESSMAN who has twice served as town mayor and has been a leading Conservative for many years is standing against his former colleagues as a UKIP candidate in a district council by-election.

By John Howard

A BUSINESSMAN who has twice served as town mayor and has been a leading Conservative for many years is standing against his former colleagues as a UKIP candidate in a district council by-election.

Ian Mason, owner of the Barking Tye Service Station near Needham Market, is standing for Mid Suffolk District Council's Barking and Somersham ward during Thursday's election.

Mr Mason, 59, served as a Conservative district councillor from 1983 until 1990, when he said he resigned on a matter of principle as the authority voted to put poll tax up more than had been promised.


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He served in a number of roles during his seven years with the authority, including as vice-chairman and chairman of planning.

He has also been Needham Market town mayor twice and still serves as a town councillor today after being elected in 1985.

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But Mr Mason, who lives in Creeting St Mary and is married with two children, said he had become disillusioned with the Conservatives.

In the run-up to the by-election he was joined yesterday by leading UKIP Euro MEP Jeffrey Titford and Mr Mason said: “Our taxes and way of life should be controlled from Westminster, not from Brussels. I have been anti the European Union for some years now.

“The Conservatives are letting a lot of people down, they are not handling Europe properly, or doing a good job. We will soon be a socialist union.”

Within mid Suffolk Mr Mason is concerned about issues such as the proposed £320 million winter sports complex SnOasis earmarked for Great Blakenham - which he feels with the right conditions which are enforceable and a site that is well managed - would be good for the area.

He also believes too much money is wasted, which contributes to council tax levels, and is annoyed by the amounts the police add to council tax.

The district council by-election is for two wards, after one councillor resigned and another moved out of the district.

In Barking and Somersham the candidates are Ian Mason, UKIP, John Pratt, Conservative Party and Robin Richardson, Liberal Democrat. In the Claydon and Barham ward the Conservative candidate is Philip Ferris; the Liberal Democrat is Martin Redbond; and the Labour candidate Ron Snell.

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