Yesterday (Thursday 2nd May) was Local Elections day here in Worcester. We elect a quarter of the City Councillors every year, and this year there was no election in my ward of Rainbow Hill. However, the next-door ward of St Stephen has been the Green Party target for the past couple of years (we already have one Councillor there), and there’s been a massive effort put in.
So I set my alarm clock for 0515, and struggled to get up. I’d packed the bike top-box with essentials the night before, and set out a thermos etc ready. I was on the bike by 0645, and speeding my way down the very steep Merrimans Hill to St George’s Primary School, one of the polling stations. I arrived comfortably before it opened at 7 – the polling clerk was friendly, and brought out a chair for me.
The first slot I did (0700-0900) was very quiet, with only about a dozen voters turning up. Two elderly friends met up, and spent twenty minutes standing next to me discussing the failure to deliver Brexit, the perceived failures of Westminster, and “the Council” (though they seemed unable to distinguish between City and County …). An uncomfortable amount of tact was needed! At least the rain held off – though maybe it might have moved them on a bit quicker.
Matt Jenkins turned up five minutes early, so it was back up the hill (electric bikes are wonderful) for a bacon butty breakfast. A quick peer through the window at progress with next door’s fence, and some more work on this blog, and back down to the polling station for midday. This time round the weather was much less cooperative, and much of the time was spent lurking under an umbrella! My relief turned up 15 minutes early, but then went off to Sainsbury, and back home for an umbrella, so actually took over at bang on the appointed time of 1400h.
Heavy rain back up Merriman’s Hill, and I was soaked when I got home. Front room full of bike on charge, umbrella, jacket, high-vis vest etc all spread out to dry! An hour’s snooze, and by the time I woke up the fence people had been rained off – I later had a text from Rupert to say they’d be back on Friday.
More playing with historic entries to this blog all evening. Despite getting up early, I stayed up to follow the results on the Worcester News website (it’s a bit of a Tory rag, but it’s all we have!).
Being over-tired (and slightly zombied having taken a tramadol because my back was – not unexpectedly – playing up) I stayed awake until all Worcester results were in. It’s left us with “no overall control” – Tory 17, Labour 15, Green 3. So, Greens holding the balance of power again, as we did for most of last year (until Louse unbelievably defected straight from the Greens to the Tories!). Green share of vote massively up, and Andrew Cross came within 34 votes of getting Warndon South, a “development ward” which he’s been working incredibly hard.