We'll it's unoffical. News has leaked out that Labour are not planning to contest Park ward as a target and have effectively handed it to the Greens. This is no surprise to my loyal reader or the more regular visitors who come here hoping for comments they can report me for making because I have suggested it here before. However, this time I have second source confirmation rather than relying on whispers and analysis.
It is a big leap for them. Park was the power base for Martin Salter and giving it up is symbolic, but it is also a hard nosed piece of political business.
Some may speculate that this is part of some pre-election deal, but I think it is simpler than that.
The Greens have proved themselves so irrelevant to Labour by completely failing to understand how the council actually functions that the simple calculation is that moving their election resources to other wards is a better use of their activists. In short, although Labour view the Greens as completely untrustworthy (as expressed by certain people at their General Committee meeting after last year's local elections and echoed in private since), they have also made the calculation that they are also irrelevant to Labour running the council.
At the last election this was Labour's prority list (in order):
Whilst there will no doubt be some Labour activity in Park, the big change is that Caversham has leapfrogged it in terms of their target wards and I'm expecting significant spend there by them this election.