Jan 17 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
A FORMER councillor is to contest the upcoming West Harrow by-election for the UK Independence Party.
Jeremy Zeid, 58, of Brampton Grove, Kenton, is hoping to win UKIP’s first seat on Harrow Council following the resignation of Labour’s Brian Gate in the wake of his police caution for possession of indecent images of children.
The resultant by-election has not been officially announced but Mr Zeid, a self-employed painter-decorator, decided to steal a march on rivals.
He said: “I went with a friend on Saturday for the first leaflet drop – 1,200 houses – and the response was very good. We had a lot of people saying ‘we want a change’.
“There’s this idea that I’m a maverick, but actually I’m a free thinker. I have got the experience and the profile, and I’d be there for one reason, to serve the residents.
“My manifesto is quite simple – clean the streets, clear out the bureaucracy and protect front-line services.”
The married father-of-two, who said he is recognised in the ward from working at the former Black and Decker shop in Pinner Road, North Harrow, in the 1980s and from previous political doorstep campaigns, said he would fight for the reinstatement of the council’s street cleaning and refuse workers lost due to the technology-orientated reorganisation, known as PRISM.
He said he welcomes the expansion of Vaughan Primary School, in The Gardens, Harrow, but only if the parking and congestion problems do not worsen and the new building does not overlook neighbours.
The 58-year-old was a Conservative councillor for Kenton West ward for four years, from 2006, and contested Queensbury ward for the party at the 2010 local elections and lost.
He joined UKIP in May last year and spoke about local government at the party’s annual conference in September.
He said: “I was increasingly unhappy with the central Conservative Party. They have been carrying on the previous government’s policies, reducing liberties, more taxes, more controls. I have always thought the government and the council should take their hands off people and leave them alone.
“If I succeed at the by-election, it would cause a bit of a shock wave.”