Here's our press release about the elections:
The Eastern Region of the Green Party has announced its candidate list for the local elections to be held in May. This year 148 candidates will be campaigning to increase the already strong group of councillors who make the region the strongest for the Party nationally.
With rural councils in Norfolk and Suffolk not holding elections this year, it is only Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Ipswich where seats will be contested, in those counties. Norwich will be aiming to consolidate and hoping to gain on their current tally of 15 councillors and possibly take over leadership of the City Council, while Ipswich is fielding a record ten candidates, offering more people than ever the opportunity of voting Green.
There is a strong showing in Hertfordshire where three local green parties field full slates of candidates, North Hertfordshire and Watford being joined for the first time by the Welwyn and Hatfield Greens and in total 63 seats are being contested by Greens in the county. Green Councillor Simon Grover will be looking to hold his seat in St.Alban's, and to use his newly-established profile for the Green Party to push up the Green vote around the city.
In Essex, Colchester Green Party is hoping for a long-awaited breakthrough onto the Borough Council in the seat where Greens are in a strong second place and is fielding 19 candidates in all. In Epping district ten candidates contest this year, and in Rochford Green Councillor Diane Hoy hopes to secure the Hullbridge seat she won in a dramatic by-election gain last year, while Greens are also pushing hard in next door Central ward.
In Cambridge City, while Margaret Wright is bowing out in Abbey Ward due to ill-health, William Birkin hopes to hold the seat while ten other candidates aim to build on Cambridge's existing three Green councillors.
Nationally the Green Party has 943 candidates contesting local elections (a 12% increase on the last comparable year) as well as two mayoral candidates in Liverpool and Salford.
Eastern Region Green Party Co-ordinator Rupert Read said "In more and more parts of the East, it is the Greens who are offering the real opposition to tired old Labour and Conservative regimes. With the Liberal Democrats discredited in most people's eyes, it couldn't be a better time to vote Green and make your vote count."