THE chairman of Swindon’s UKIP branch has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to call a snap election.

Lincoln Williams says his party is looking forward to offering voters an alternative from the two main parties.

UKIP is fielding candidates in both Swindon constituencies.

Martin Costello will contest the South Swindon seat in his first parliamentary election while Steve Halden will stand, as he did in 2010, in North Swindon.

Mr Williams said: “Given the cuts and austerity imposed on local authorities by the Conservative government, we now have an opportunity to expose and resist the government agenda.

“We shall be fighting extremely hard to support the NHS and we want to force a referendum on the council tax rises that were placed on the electorate with a flawed consultation process, and demand that this immoral decision that allows council tax to be totally uncapped should be reversed.

“Currently we have not found anybody in office willing to speak on behalf of the town.

"We would like to challenge the government on key decisions and ensure that Swindon is not neglected as it so often has been in the past.

“We have two very strong candidates including ‘Farage disciple’ Martin Costello who is extremely passionate about Swindon and is keen to hold those in power to account with the questions many people are thinking but not asking.

“Our town is in desperate need of better representation in Parliament. As a committed Swindonian and someone who has experienced life outside the ‘Westminster bubble’ he is anxious to ensure that our crumbling heritage is preserved for future generations to enjoy.

“Costello is committed to equality for all and he vows to protect the most vulnerable in our society who have been neglected or discriminated against by giving the ‘ordinary people’ back their voice.

“It is a tragedy that in 2017 we are seeing homeless people on our streets in the town and hardworking families falling into poverty and becoming dependent on food banks.

"We want to see all of our constituents receiving a good service from the local authority and proper support for all those who genuinely need it.

“The aim of UKIP is to be a voice of opposition and keep the government’s feet to the fire on key issues that will ensure a fair deal for all and not give those in power a blank cheque to push their own centrist agenda.

“This is a unique opportunity for Swindon voters to genuinely turn the fortunes of the town and help her inhabitants including those of all faiths and cultures.”

UKIP came third in both seats in 2015, the challenge the party now faces is convincing voters that with Brexit in motion, they still have a relevant policy agenda for the country.