UKIP activists have revealed their delight at the turnout for Nigel Farage’s visit to Worcester saying the massive interest exceeded all expectations.
Upwards of 300 people packed into the Guildhall on Wednesday night which forced organisers to split the crowds onto two floors.
This meant Mr Farage, the party’s leader, had to host two separate Q&A sessions rather than just the one which was originally planned.
Carl Humphries, who runs the party’s Worcester branch, said: “I had phone call after phone call before the day. The phone kept on ringing with people asking when is he coming, what time will it be and so on. We had originally booked just one floor of the Guildhall, but in the end we had to book another just in case we needed it. In the end it was packed. There was so much interest.”
The turnout follows the news that 50 UK Independence Party candidates will be standing in May’s Worcestershire County Council elections.
Mr Farage said that with 57 seats up for grabs, this means that most people across the county will be able to vote for the party if they want to.
During the Q&A session he also waded into the county’s incinerator debate and revealed that he is suspicious about the project.
It comes despite the Conservative administration at County Hall sticking to its plan on the basis that the rubbish burning plant earmarked for Hartlebury, near Kidderminster, will reduce landfill taxes.
Mr Farage said: “I am suspicious of incinerators, and not just because of pollution, but because once it is up and running, you’ve got to keep on feeding the damn thing.
“We don’t want to be forced down a path where people in areas like Worcestershire accept fortnightly bin collections and continue to pay high landfill taxes, as well as having to feed an incinerator.”
His comment was prompted by Mike Nattrass MEP, who asked Mr Farage to express a view on the controversial Hartle-bury plant which is due to open in 2016.
The capacity will be 200,000 tonnes of waste, which will be collected from homes across Worcestershire and Herefordshire. This will be burned to generate electricity for 20,000 homes. It will be run by a private firm called EnviRecover. The two counties paid £9.8 million in landfill taxes last year – a figure which has doubled since 2006.