Town Council by-election in South ward on 23rd June - and there's a lot of interest with red, yellow, blue and green candidates, with particularly intensive campaigning from the blues who have never shown the slightest interest in the Town Council before. And of course, we are all saying that party politics has no real place in parish councils. The Independents (Chamber of Trade) did select a candidate - but he had to withdraw due to health reasons.
The huge interest is that this is the first local election in Morpeth since 2008 with the next scheduled elections not due until 2013 - unless there are more byelections as existing Town Councillors - who are just starting the fifth year of a six year term - drop by the wayside.
And these are interesting times: Northumberland CC is keen to devolve services - and Morpeth Town Council, as the biggest spending parish council in the county, is expected to take a lead in forming a local 'parish cluster, but without overwhelming neighbouring parishes. NCC are also routinely consulting parish councils as the voice of their local communities, Morpeth is under huge pressure from housing developers, and within the next two years - we're going to have both the Northumberland LDF Core Strategy (with designation of the Morpeth Green Belt) and neighbourhood planning under the new Localism Bill.
So - we've put up Ron Forster, who is probably the best known of the candidates through his (Sun)day job, and has a good track record in understanding and expressing community views. And - I'd suggest that the Greens also have a good track record in challenging and contributing to Town Council work without descending into party political bickering.
So - lets see what the voters in South ward think...