Vote #Colchester

And so in just under 24 hours time the polling stations will be open for business around Sunny Colch.

The trestle tables will be set up in village halls; selective school kids will have their first introduction to local politics by being kept away from double maths for the day.

Isn’t democracy ACE?

Steady the buffers, Mr Chronic.

We’re in for a bumpy 48 hours.

Oh Lordy.

Yep – and so it is finally here: the most eagerly anticipated set of elections in Sunny Colch in a generation, and one that has already become something of a… meh moment.

How did the campaign become so crap?

It wasn’t so much the lack of effort from most candidates, or the local media. The “dodgy bloggers” have even raised their game with some half-decent coverage.

But there has been a sense that the ‘all out’ set of elections taking place in the borough tomorrow are a missed opportunity.

This could / should have been the ideal time for the town to take a good look at itself, and say:

Yep. It’s not a bad old place to live, but it could be so much bloody better.

Key decisions will made after Thursday that will impact on the town for the next generation and beyond.

The town centre ‘issues’ are well documented. We have a Cultural Quarter that has been a little slow on the uptake, Vineyard Gate that has gone AWOL and local traders caught in the middle feeling the pinch.

Plus…

*shhh* Jumbo…

Meanwhile out in the rural wards and the fear of over-development looms large.

Solutions are needed. The Cllr’s that you will elect on Thursday will be trusted with a tremendous position of power in which to help make Sunny Colch an even better place to live.

The focus for each political tribe on their patch has been something of a let down for the wider electorate.

How did the #labourdoorstep go in Prettygate?

Did the Tories do any knocking up on the Greenstead?

Has anyone seen any LibDems in the past month?

The Chronic was aware of only two hustings – one organised superbly by the Hythe Forward Business group, and another for elderly residents.

There has been little public debate in deciding who will run CBC following the elections on Thursday.

Who will that be?

It won’t be the “dodgy blogger,” Comrades.

*DISCLAIMER: Jason hacked together the bodge job website for the Wiv Indies.

He even pointed his iPhone at them and became a cutting edge online video producer.

They won’t trust him with their Twitter either.

Who Jason votes for is his own bloody business*

Phew. Glad that one has been cleared up, etc.

As a reminder, ALL seats at CBC are up for grabs over the next 48 hours. Boundary tinkering has led to a cull of the Cllr’s.

Sixty seats has been cut to 51.

Is this what they mean by austerity in the Council Chamber?

The current count of 27 Tories, 20 LibDems, 9 Labour and 4 Highwoods and Stanway Indies is likely to change.

Ahh – but in what direction, Comrades?

The Chronic doesn’t do predictions. We gave up after we suggested that Andy Hamilton would be standing in Lexden.


#HAMMERTIME

But you can see where the momentum is after the election of Conservative MP Will Quince twelve months ago.

That’s momentum with a small ‘m’ btw, although given the political position of the Red Tory in Westminster over the past few weeks, we’re not so sure.

Bloody “free thinking” MP’s…

And so what do we know about the main political parties and what they are proposing for our patch?

Not a lot.

You can publish any old crap in an election manifesto, blag the votes and then Sir Bob’s yer Uncle.

And good luck with that one.

The Colchester Conservatives are the great unknown. We have heard that a Commissioning Council will be put in place if they are in power. We have yet to hear how this will work in practise.

The premise is that the free market will steam in to run local services. Everything will have a price (we think?), with hopefully the Tories also seeing that a local authority has value.

A safety net needs to be in place, both for residents and staff. The Conservatives haven’t really explained how this will work.

Heritage and transport are two areas where the local Tories appear to be strong.

For all of the scare stories about Dodgy Dave and his right wing Westminster mob, it’s more a case of Shire Tories in Sunny Colch.

But will the shy Tories back the Shire Tories?

Many non-traditional Conservative voters have been won over by a quite incredible year for the “free thinking” Will Quince.

There’s not a lot of separation between Our Man in Westminster and his party colleagues back in the Town Hall.

Which is something you couldn’t always say about Sir Bob.

Ah yes – the local LibDems.

#LibDemBEES

Steady but stale is a fair reflection of what the LibDems have ‘achieved’ in recent years.

They have balanced the books (we think?) in Britain’s Oldest Recorded, but at what cost?

Our main memory from the second Tollgate planning meeting was a slide simply saying STAGNATION that was screened throughout the meeting.

As one would expect from a liberal based party, the LibDems have been superb on refugees and the Living Wage.

But elsewhere they appear to have run out of ideas.

Placing #LibDemBEES at the heart of your manifesto doesn’t exactly create a buzz, Dom.

The failure to put forward a full slate of candidates is quite frankly embarrassing.

Are there really only 38 people in the whole of the borough who are prepared to put forward their name under the banner of the LibDems?

The LibDems could still deliver, but the Cabinet will need refreshing.

Cllr Mark Cory would be a good shout to help achieve this. We fear that boundary changes in Wivenhoe might not give him the opportunity.

Third in the political food chain in this town is the scraps being thrown down to the Comrades of the Colchester Labour party.

Disclaimer: Jason was purged.

Knobs.

The local party is dominated by tribalism at the top of the pile. It is a very unedifying experience in which to observe.

You are either for the leadership, or you are part of the problem.

Often there isn’t a problem; it’s just that the Comrades like a good scrap against the backdrop of their perceived vision of the Class War in Sunny Colch.

It would be of more value to mention that a vote for Labour is a vote to prop up the LibDems.

Plus also a vote to keep the same players in a cosy Cabinet job.

Yeah, yeah – the response from the Greenstead fiefdom will be that more Labour Cabinet seats will lead to more Labour policies being implemented.

We didn’t see much evidence to be honest when it came to Joyce Brooks House and the street traders etc.

There are some very decent Labour ward Cllr’s who deserve to retain their seats.

But don’t be fooled that a vote for Labour in Colchester is a vote for Corbyn; a vote for Labour in Colchester is a vote for a local party elite who campaigned actively against Mr Corbyn’s democratic socialism.

And wtf is the Progress candidate Jordan Newell doing wearing a red rosette?

We shall try and clam down and address the Highwoods / Stanway Indies.

ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!

Oh dear.

We need to lie down.

Not enough is known about the Highwoods Indies, apart from they kept the momentum away from the Conservatives twelve months ago and did a deal instead to prop up the LibLab lot.

Well done you.

The ex LibDem’s had the chance to help bring about genuine change in the town. They chose more of the same instead.

The Green party deserve a voice in the Council Chamber. Of course they will get shouted down and bullied. But even a lone Green voice might be able to shift the debate from the current tired out crap that can sometimes be heard.

The Wiv Indies meanwhile…

They are just the Wiv Indies.

You change from within, Comrades.

And so our main message, 24 hours ahead of the polls opening?

Just vote.

Vote for anyone, but just vote.

Sitting on your arse is as bad as the local Tories abstaining to vote on the CBC Budget. If you don’t raise your hand then you can’t criticise later.

How are we calling it?

We’re not.

We’d like to see the Wiv and Castle ward results first.

ALL of the candidates need congratulating.

Well – just about all of them.

They are brave to put their names forward. The one thing that most have in common is that they genuinely care about the future of Colchester.

The political careerists can just piss off.

Shoulders back, keeping on waling towards the sun, Colchester.

See you on the other side, Comrades.