Well it's been a busy few weeks out campaigning for Ute in the by-election. I've been having a break from my 'break from politics' to help with the campaign. We've been getting a great response on the doorstep, and have spoken to loads of residents that have previously never been in when we've called.
Back in April/May, it was difficult to get people interested in the local elections, with all the focus on the leadership debates on TV etc. This time the emphasis is firmly on local issues, albeit with the impact of the government cuts to local government a top concern for many. And there is much more emphasis on the candidate than there was in May, where quite a few people seemed to be voting on party lines, rather than for individuals.
When the by-election was called, the national party asked us if we would like some 'big guns'. We looked a bit askance at first and thought it sounded very ungreen, but we've been delighted that Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, deputy leader Cllr Adrian Ramsay and London Assembly member Jenny Jones have all come and supported our campaign, along with lots of members and supporters from both the local area and further afield.
Caroline Lucas (top and second picture) is pictured here with local Greens supporting the campaign to keep Crofton Park Library open. Jenny Jones AM (third picture), who leads on pedestrian issues for us on the London Assembly, came to take a look at the Lewisham Way crossing that the Mayor of London is inexplicably threatening to remove - passersby told us that they remembered signing the petition a few years back to get the crossing put in, and couldn't understand why TfL would want to ride roughshod over local opinion now. And Cllr Adrian Ramsay is pictured canvassing on Gillian Street.
It's been a while since I've spoken to anyone on the doorstep who wasn't aware of the by-election, and many residents are probably starting to get a bit cheesed off with the unusual level of attention they are getting from local political parties. Hopefully those who've lived in the area a while will know which parties they hear from regularly, and who are just showing a fleeting, by-election related interest in the ward.
Anyway, time for me to get back on the doorstep rather than sitting here in the warm . . .