Colchester Borough Council is run by a Lib Lab pact – with the Lib Dems as the main partner. A third of the seats are up for election on Thursday. The Lib Dems swept to power at the Town Hall two years ago on a promise of freezing the Council tax – they have since imposed inflation busting hikes. They have spent more on councillor allowances – less on flower beds. Under the Conservatives in April 2008 the Council prudently removed £4 million deposited in Icelandic bank Landisbanki – four months later under the Lib Dem/Lab administration the £4 million was put back in Landisbanki.
Colchester constituency was Lib Dem last time and is our 136th target seat. But even if we discount the Cleggmania identified in the opinion polls the seat looks a tough proposition for us in terms of its ward councillor composition. Of the 13 relevant wards, when last contested, only two went to the Conservatives, one to an independent, two to Labour and eight to the Lib Dems. Good luck to the Conservative candidate Will Quince, a proud Essex Man who works for Britvic Soft Drinks. Lib Dem incumbent Bob Russell was forced to repay £4,500 he had overclaimed on expenses.
Gaining the council is an easier proposition than gaining the constituency as there are several Conservative wards for Colchester Borough Council which come under Bernard Jenkin's Harwich and Noth Essex constituency.