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BNP fanatics, on your bikes! POLLING DAY: City voters say 'no' to far right nationalists.

Byline: By Catherine Lillington

A BIRMINGHAM parish council is celebrating after stopping three BNP candidates from getting into power.

All 12 seats were won by independents in the Frankley election, which saw thousands of voters turn out to the polls.

In the run-up to the election, former East Enders actor Ross Kemp was enlisted to encourage voters not to back the far right nationalist party.

It was the first time since the parish council was launched eight years ago that a political party has stood for election.

Residents feared the BNP weighing in could mean the end for the city's only parish council.

Coun Sid Grey, who has served on the council since its inception, said it was a victory over politics more than the BNP.

"Political parties always agree not to put candidates up.

"We don't need political parties here and we don't want them.

"There is very little democracy in politics. It's about party politics, which is not always the best thing for people."

Coun Stephen Trefor-Jones said: "I'm very glad the BNP haven't got in. I really want to thank everyone for help ensuring we were able to keep democracy on the go."

In a letter to residents, Ross Kemp said: "I hope you'll be voting for the 12 local Frankley candidates.

"I think there is nothing more dangerous in areas like yours than racism and the environment of fear and hatred the BNP create."

FRANKLEY ELECTION RESULTS

Linda Banks 948

Michael Bell BNP 321

Karen Bolton 934

Ian Bruckshaw 885

Eric Carter 928

Sidney Grey 907

Gareth Griffiths 892

William Hollis 937

Len Lovett 882

Leslie Orton BNP 310

Desmond Rogers 884

Geoffrey Stephenson 849

Stephen Trefor-Jones 855

Elizabeth Wainwright BNP 334

Joanne Walker 870

CAPTION(S):

FIRM STANCE... television's Ross Kemp.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 5, 2008
Words:296
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