I had a meeting at the Town Hall this evening (Group Officers meeting - I'm only a member because I'm a Local Party Chair) and, having had a pleasant chat afterwards, decided to attend the meeting for new council candidates, taking place downstairs.
The intention was to have an introduction on the role and responsibilities of councillors, followed by a short briefing on the borough and a Q and A session with the three group leaders. Sadly, the civics lesson was a bit dull (if we want to be councillors, surely we must have some idea why we're doing it?) but the Q and A session was fascinating, watching Nick Stanton (us), Peter John (Labour) and William Rowe (Conservative) answering a series of quite tricky questions and, astonishingly, agreeing on a great deal.
Even more interesting was a quick scan of the room. The age profile was much younger than I had expected, with a majority of those present appearing to be my age or less, not necessarily what one might expect. Perhaps there is some heightened interest in politics and if so, perhaps local government may be about to change...
I also had an unexpected opportunity to talk to one of our Conservative opponents in Village ward, who is a dual national (US/UK) and, curiously, a Democrat. She seems to be remarkably human and happy to talk, something I'm guessing will be 'knocked out of her' before the campaign gets underway in earnest!