POLITICAL leaders in Wyre Forest have urged residents to separate their views on Europe from local issues when voting in the two upcoming elections.

Voters will elect West Midlands representatives to Brussels and Strasbourg on Thursday, the same day as Wyre Forest District Council elections.

Several party representatives said voters did not have to vote the same way in both but UK Independence Party spokesman Michael Wrench said electors could not look at both local and European issues separately.

Conservative leader Marcus Hart said: "I would ask people to think local and vote local. Electors may have a very strong view about both the national and EU parliaments and may wish to vote a certain way in the EU but in the district council we have a proven track record and I would encourage people to continue to vote for local Conservative candidates in the district election."

Labour's Jamie Shaw added: "There has been a certain negativity about Europe which might manifest itself in a vote for one party in the local election and a vote for another in the EU. If you spend a little time looking at some of the issues in detail you can make a more positive decision about Europe."

Mr Wrench, however, said: "The old parties have failed to understand the link between what is happening in local Government and the EU. Everything coming from Brussels filters down through the national Government into local Government and our daily lives."

Mr Wrench is standing in both election this year and said he would be able to carry out both roles as an MEP and district council should he win them.

Meanwhile, Nikki Sinclaire, of We Demand a Referendum Now, said she would fight for West Midlands jobs if re-elected.