Your handy, deeply biased guide to Greenwich Peninsula Ward elections 2010

So Greenwich Council has announced the candidates for the upcoming Peninsula Ward elections on May 6.

Voting is a laborious, but important task. Deciding whom to vote for is not to be determined lightly. However, all too often we end up voting for a party slate.

Does it honestly make sense to vote for three Conservative councillors because you like the look of David Cameron on tv? Should you really be voting for three Green councillors because you hate all the main parties? Can you honestly justify selecting three Lib Dems as a protest vote? And, er, will anyone be voting for all three Labour candidates?

No! You will be on the hunt for alternative means for selecting your candidates. And here are my thoughts:

Proximity

We want candidates who really understand our ward and our particular issues. East Greenwich has suffered in recent years, thanks to a useless MP who's been permanently in hock to the building trade and a council who doesn't give a stuff about us, all that guff about "The heart of East Greenwich" notwithstanding.

Presumably people who actually live nearby should have a better understanding of our issues than those who don't. So here's a handy dandy map of our ward and where the respective candidates live:


View Greenwich Peninsula Ward elections 2010 in a larger map

So full marks to the Lib Dems who have managed to choose three candidates who live in the ward. The Conservatives have two, but their third - Toks Bailey - is so far east she's almost outside the borough. Labour have, strictly speaking, only one. But Mary Mills is only just on the "wrong" side of the tracks and we won't count it against her. And the Greens have no-one in the ward. That's hardly surprising given how bad our air quality is.

Experience

A tough one, I realise. How ready are each of the candidates to be a councillor? Well, Mary Mills and Dick Quibell have little to prove here, having been councillors already (and in Mary's case, for ages). Miranda Williams is Labour stand-in for Chris Roberts who chickened out of standing for re-election because he knows, deep down, that this country hates Labour's guts and he'd probably lose his seat. Miranda looks like a Labour patsy, which absolutely Will Not Do.

I can't say I know much about the Conservatives, but you can find a bio of each of them here. They all seem to have good Greenwichy roots.

Alex Cunliffe is a lawyer. However, unless the Lib Dems have a positive glut of people named Alex Cunliffe, he's also their PPC for Erith and Thamesmead. He really ought to commit to one job or another, don't you think? I'm sorry, I couldn't find anything else about the other Lib Dems either on Google or on the Lib Dems website - doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

The Green party slate is here. Again, good on the Greens for (like the Conservatives) putting up a special page just for us Peninsulans.

Online presence

I like the Internet. Candidates who can demonstrate a strong online presence will impress me more than those who don't.

The hands down winner here is the Green Party's Darryl Chamberlain who writes a simply excellent blog called 853. It's a fantastic insight into what it's like to live here in Greenwich. He's also very active on Twitter. Next in line is, er, not-so-youthful Mary Mills (shame on you young'uns!). Mary is brilliant at responding to e-mails on anything at any hour of the day or night. She also has her own blog and is active on Twitter.

Charlie Easton has a pretty nice looking, if partisan, blog called Gypsy Moth. It would have been nice for it to have been a bit more local and less Conservative though. But his heart's clearly in East Greenwich.

I'm not aware that the others have much Internet presence to shout about.

Conclusion

Well that's your lot. I think I know whom I'm voting for, but could easily change my mind if the candidates stop by the house for a chat.

Please feel free to feed back your thoughts to me at andrew@gambier.cc.