WHILE the country decides who should represent them in Europe, most
Colchester residents will also be asked to vote for their local councillor.

The men and women who will sit on 20 of Colchester Council’s 60 seats will be
decided at the polls on Thursday.

The authority is presently run by 26 Lib Dems, seven Labour councillors and three Highwoods Independent Group members.

The opposition is made up from 23 Conservatives, while a by-election is due after the death of Labour councillor Steve Ford.

The Green Party has put up a full roster of candidates and hope to win their first seat.

Ukip has put forward a record 13 candidates in Colchester and are especially
targeting three seats.

Each party has put forward its local election manifesto. The Gazette has chosen five highlights - in no particular order - from each.

Liberal Democrats

1.Bring new jobs and investment to the Town Centre and the regeneration
of St Botolph’s, on top of £500 million investment already pledged.

2. Negotiate with bus companies to give Colchester residents a special discount card.

3. Introduce a Responsible Dog Owner Strategy to cut dog fouling and anti-social behaviour.

4. Bring the market back onto the High Street.

5. End the “neglect” of Colchester’s roads by taking control of transport budgets from Essex County Council.


1. Introduce two hours of free parking in two Colchester town centre car parks

2. Cut the number of councillors from 60 to 51

3. Investigate a joint project to build an eco-friendly car park in the grounds of Leisure World.

4. Make a further £1 million of cuts on top of the £2.7 million already shaved off Colchester Council’s 2014/15 budget.

5. Use the New Homes Bonus to part-fund a multi-storey car park at Colchester General Hospital.


1. Build a “significant” number of new council homes in addition to the conversion of former garage sites.

2. Work with police and Pubwatch to ban anyone convicted of alcohol-related offences from all bars until they are rehabilitated.

3. Introduce wheelie bins in areas where there is a clear majority in favour of them.

4. Demand Essex County Council switch street lights back on and hand back road repair budget.

5. Reduce the number of councillors to 51.


1. Find a realistic solution to congestion in the High Street.

2. Scrap plans to sell Britannia car park for housing.

3. Cut councillor allowances and pay deals for senior council staff.

4. Return responsibility for roads to Colchester Council.

5. Work with police to tackle cycling on pavements.

Green Party

1. Build affordable homes on brownfield, not greenfield sites.

2. Expand the new bus station on Osborne Street.

3. Stop the proliferation of nightclubs in St Botolph’s and revoke licences of venues linked to violent crime.

4. Make it easier for residents to obtain replacement green bins and garden waste bags.

5. Give all council-owned facilities energy reduction targets.

For more on the local elections, see Tuesday's Gazette.