Yep, the local elections are approaching and I just know that you are all clamouring for me to tell you who to vote for.
No? What do you mean you can think for yourself? Oh alright then, I'll just whittle on randomly about a few issues without drawing any firm conclusions and you can jolly well decide for yourselves then, see if I care.
Lets start with a look at who isn't running. I've already written about a few rumours here and there but it seems that the numbers leaving the ship are higher than I thought. Here's the list -
Hylton James (Aspley)
Rob Lee (Basford)
Hassan Ahmed (Berridge)
Eileen Heppel (Bulwell)
Zahoor Mir (Dunkirk and Lenton)
Michael Edwards (Mapperley)
Mo Munir (Mapperley)
Katrina Bull (Radford and Park)
Afzal Khan (Radford and Park)
Penny Griggs (Sherwood)
Dick Benson (Wollaton West)
That's 20% of currently sitting councillors not running, all except that last one being Labour, two of them Executive members. Of course the best news is that Hassan Ahmed isn't running, possibly because some of his fun and games are catching up with him. He still features quite visibly among the pics on Labour's manifesto mind, not sure that was wise.
Actually, that manifesto has a few design fails if you ask me. I'm sure they could have got hold of a pic of a scaffolding free Council House for example and the tram pic heavily laden with adverts for train tickets out of Nottingham might end up looking a little bit symbolic in retrospect.
I'm a little disappointed that I'm still not going to get a chance to vote for a Green Party candidate and it looks like there's only four running citywide. I don't think the 'Elvis Turns Green' candidate in Berridge is quite the same thing. At least Dales ward residents have the opportunity to vote for Lord Biro, this time standing for the 'Militant Elvis Anti-Tesco Popular Front' ticket. So if you fancy giving David Mellen a bloody nose...
I should also mention that former Labour councillor Mick Newton is running as an independent. That could be one to watch.
Of course the Lib Dems will be hoping and praying that the national hate against them won't be reflected locally. That said, it seems that Dunkirk and Lenton candidate Alisdair McGregor seems to have had to nominate himself*. I don't hold out much hope for his ability to attract votes if he can't find two other people willing to nominate him.
One last thing. If you vote for JoCo you deserve to have your gonads removed with a rusty spoon. The single biggest factor that would improve NCC would be his removal if you ask me.
The full list of nominees is here.
*It could be a misprint