Friday, May 14, 2004

Is that a starting gun I hear?

Well, their off! Norwich City Council elections candidates were announced yesterday, with both major parties – Conservative and Labour – plus minor ones such as the Lib Dems and Greens putting up all 39 candidates for 39 seats. There is also an Independent in Nelson (ex-Green Councillor Steve Land), a Cannabis Alliance in every ward and (wait for it) a full three Norwich-over-the-Water Party (slogan: give ‘em hell) in Sewell Ward. With the boundary changes this will be a very interesting election.

The question is not who’ll win – but who’ll be on the Lib Dem frontbench after the next election? During a hazy moment in class (or should I say, one of the frequent hazy moments in class) I had a thought. Who’ll be left on the sinking ship HMS Couzens after June 10th? Well, poor old April Pond is having her safe birth pulled from under her and – with no places left in the Lib Dem held Town Close Ward – she’s off to Nelson. So combined with fellow Exec member Gordon Dean it looks like the pair of them are committing political suicide. Who’s going to bet against self-publicist and Euro candidate Adrian Ramsay and his Greenies taking the ward? It may be close – Steve Land and the Cannabis people will almost certainly stick their oar in – but I think even the LibDems know that one is ripe for the taking. Same is also true for University Ward, where my moles on the ground say Labour are on the verge of re-taking. Imagine if Rooza, Williams and Hume went too? Plus both Labour and the Greens are talking up their chances of winning the new Wensum Ward (cheerio, Andrew Aalders-Dunthorn). So who does that leave in Couzen’s cabinet? Erm, Hereward Cooke, who according to two sources of mine wanted out of Lakenham because he thinks Labour are back on winning ways now the ward contains Tuckswood.

My bet for June 10th? I have a feeling Labour will do it in University – but not Lakenham. The Greens will take Nelson, and be just short in Wensum. The Conservatives to take Catton, and who knows? Bowthorpe and Town Close won’t be far behind…

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