It was a glorious day in Norwich today and almost perfect campaigning weather; warm enough to be very pleasant but not so hot you collapse of heat exhausion.
The round-the-clock leafleting and door-knocking meant that our campaign team meetings have now been shifted to breakfast time. Somehow election planning was more pleasant when accompanied by coffee and eggs; a change we may have to keep even after the by-election!
And so the day began delivering Chloe's latest election offering to the good people in Hellesdon. Walking around and talking to local people you get the real sense that Hellesdon is ready to vote for change. Most people were Conservative supporters, but those who were not were quick to tell me that they wouldn't vote Labour. The overwhelming majority said they are yet to hear from any party other the Conservatives so far. Again the office was packed and there was a buzz about the campaign. It's a fun place to be at the moment and because of the weather (both politically and literally) there is a great sense of purpose and unity.
A sausage based lunch - and time for the Norwich South team to re-group - was the perfect time to swop canvass stories and discuss the issues that people were raising.
In the afternoon it was back to my own constituency - though my endeavours took me less than a couple of miles from where we had been in Norwich North. I wanted to speak to some residents who were having problems with permit parking (the abuse of, should I add) in their City Centre road. Despite cmplaints to both the council and to other parties nothing has been done. They were very appreciative of the time taken to visit them and some suggestions for moving forward.
I also stopped in to see a new party member who wanted to talk about how she could contribute to a Conservative victory at the next election! There's plenty to do on both sides of the City and lots to get involved in!
Finally a stop off to see some people about a planning application that has been made which could make life very difficult for them. This is a tough case - the current structure is unsightly and covered in grafitti (not great to live with) but the proposed new use could generate more use for the area and thus more cars and movement which they don't want either. The residents want a third solution, which would be good but isn't even on the table. They recognise the problem and realise the difficulty both they and the planners are in. This was one of those cases where I offered impartial advice on the pro's and con's and was clear and realistic about what would happen. I think people really appreciate honesty in such cases.
It was a fine day in a fine City!