“People see us all year round,” says Judith Grier, the newly elected Green councillor for Bebington who romped home with 53% of the vote on Thursday. Litter and road safety are the issues that put her in office, she says. These sound like the perennials of local politics, but they form a bigger picture too — not liking cars and rubbish is a gateway to environmental politics.
The Greens had a very good night on the Wirral. A first test was retaining their leader Pat Cleary’s seat in Birkenhead and Tranmere — their breakthrough victory back in 2014. They held it convincingly and gained another vacant seat there. The Greens now control all of the three spots in that former Labour stronghold. They took a Labour scalp in nearby Prenton too. That was also, until recently, Fortress Labour, and the Greens have taken all three seats in the ward after Thursday’s elections. Along with Grier’s victory in Bebington, that brings the Green total on Wirral Council up to nine (enough to form a governing coalition with the chastened Labour group).