Our guest writer is Samir Jeraj, who is currently leader of the Green group of councillors in Norwich
A few weeks ago I was sitting in a library when I received a phone call. It was my friend and Leader of the Green Party on Norwich City Council, Claire Stephenson. She and all the other councillors elected in 2006 (thirteen in all) had been removed from office about half an hour earlier. This wasn’t the result of any wrongdoings these councillors had committed, but the end of a complicated struggle between the present government, the last government, and the High Court over changes to local government in Norwich. It was a few weeks later before we knew that the byelections to the Council would be on the 9th September
We go into this election with a political balance of:
4 Lib Dems
Which means that The Green Party has a very good chance of becoming the largest party on a District Council for the first time in history. Last year in the County Council elections we took 7 of the 13 seats in the City and in the General Election we doubled our vote in Norwich South despite the national squeeze on the Green Party. But byelections are unpredictable, other parties will be doing there best to bring activists from around the Country to help their campaigns, the date of elections also means that turnout will probably be low.
We need people to come and help. To go door-to-door canvassing and delivering leaflets to let people know what we are standing for in these elections, first and foremost ‘An Open Council‘, a major drive on renewables using new funding arrangements, and promoting the local economy. This will not be easy when the Coalition Government seems intent on pushing Britain back into recession, but we need to challenge their logic that draining the economy of public money will somehow make things all right, and to, where we can, join with other councils and allies in Parliament, Assemblies, and social movements to resist and oppose the worst excesses of the ConDems.