One of my 124 e-mails was a gentleman from Thorpe Hamlet who stumbled across my blog by accident when he typed in "Norwich Conservative" instead of "Norwich Conservatory" into google. He, apparently, read a few months worth of entries and said that I always seem to focus on the negative traits of my councillor colleagues. Didn't I have anything nice to say about any of them? Well, yes, I do actually.
On the Labour side, nobody can doubt the committment and expertise that Steve Morphew (Mile Cross) brings to the role of leader of the council. Roy Blower and Bert Bremner (University) are two of the most committed campaigners in the council and both decent blokes to boot. Newly elected Sue Sands (Sewell), who is a constituent of mine in Bowthorpe, is the type of personable decent person we need on the council. I also have a lot of time for my ward colleague Chrissie Rumsby.
From the LibDems, Brian Watkins (Eaton) is a fine politician who I believe will one day make a dangerously good Leader of his group. Always has time for people and is one of the most intelligent councillors. He brings a wealth of experience to what we do.
The Greens are a funny bunch to try and get to know - you have to admire the strenght of character in Adrian Ramsay (Nelson) and his committment to the cause, as he sees it. Bob Gledhill (Nelson) is genuinely funny and deeply committed. Claire Stephenson (also Nelson) has a lot of her brother's charm and, like Steve Altman (Mancroft) is very easy to get on with. I have crticised the new Green Councillors in the past for not saying and doing enough - council meetings are the Adrian and Rupert show - but I sure that that will change with time.
I don't ask that people are just like me, but I think the best councillors are those that are ward focused, not afriad to speak up against the party and/or council and those who can campaign effectivly. Sometimes a party hack beats a decent local councillor but very rarely. Show these qualities, as many of the 39 strong council do, and you will do a good job.
p.s. It is probably not politically correct to suck up to the Lord Mayor, but for what it is worth I think that Cllr Hartley goes a very good job too.