UKIP leader Nigel Farage addresses crowds in Lydney
UKIP leader Nigel Farage swept into Gloucestershire today to plant the acorns from which he hopes "great oaks will grow".
He is on the first leg of a national tour to drum up support for the record 2,000 candidates his party is fielding in county council elections around the country on May 2.
He took questions in Lydney from a 200-strong crowd at the town's Annexe venue before meeting up with his wife and kids to celebrate his 49th birthday.
He said: "We were really being asked about the plight of the low paid and youth issues, things like youth unemployment.
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"It's a classic case of national issues impacting on local people and, while Gloucestershire County Council can't change national taxes, you can certainly still send a message."
He said portrayals of his party only having a single policy are "unfair".
"We have a radical view on taxation, immigration, on a whole raft of issues," he said.
"I have promised that all UKIP councillors will be against wind farm developments, because they simply don't work, and I have promised that UKIP will have an independent voice and look in a hard-headed way at how the money at county halls is being spent.
"No-one wants to lose frontline services but we need to look at things like how is being spent on translation, printing and things like that."
On his party's chances in Gloucestershire, he added: "I am hopeful we will be able to establish a bridgehead onto Gloucestershire County Council and from little acorns great oaks grow.
"If you look in the Forest of Dean at recent town council elections and by-elections, we have had a strong showing and there is a definite trend developing."
On a national scale, he wants to scrap income tax on the minimum wage to get more people into work and off benefits and said the spare room subsidy introduced at the start of this month is "unenforceable".
"You can't send someone to jail for having a spare bedroom but I do think what Iain Duncan Smith is doing with the benefits system is right - a lot of people on benefits don't want to be there," he said.