Defectors to boost local Tory campaign

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Gainsborough Conservatives are bullish about their election prospects, both for the national and local elections.

Party members gathered in Hemswell all day Saturday to plan their campaigns. They will be run by party agent Giles McNeill, who is also a West Lindsey District councillor.

Coun McNeill told the Rasen Mail that the Conservatives have been attracting members from other parties, including sitting councillors.

“We are looking at Lib-Dems,” he said.

He expected at least one defector would now stand under the blue banner in May, possibly joined by a couple of others who currently have “a few rods in the fire.”

Coun McNeil said the party locally would fight “a robust campaign” based on its four year record of being the incumbent administration at West Lindsey District Council.

“We have kept the council tax low, as we promised. In band D it has gone up 48p since 2011 and this year, there will be a freeze,” he said.

The ruling Tories would also fight on its “vision and approach” to developing a ‘commercial’ council to improve value for money.

Coun McNeill expects Tory gains in the district fight, also claiming Labour and the Lib-Dems are having trouble finding candidates. He also doubted if UKIP has people with the right experience to become effective councillors.