This column - unlike, say, Greenwich Time - does not do party political propaganda. Since living in Greenwich, I've voted for all four parties contesting our three local council wards. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, and I doubt you'd take any notice if I did. What I can do, however, is give you the information to decide how you can best use your votes to produce the effect you want.
If you are broadly satisfied with the council, the choice in any of our local wards is easy - give all three of your votes to Labour. If you are dissatisfied, and want change, you'll have noticed that all the other parties have, at various points, been sending round leaflets claiming that they are the only ones which can beat Labour, that it is a "two-horse race" and that voting for anyone else is a "wasted vote."
In a sense, each of them is right - depending on where they say it. In each of the three wards, a different opposition party has the best chance of defeating Labour. First, you need to know which ward you live in.
Greenwich West is anything west of the park and Naval College. This includes the town centre, West Greenwich, and the bits of SE8 that are in Greenwich borough, such as Millennium Quay. All three of this ward's councillors are currently Labour.
Greenwich West is a contest between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, with the Conservatives some way in third.
Peninsula includes East Greenwich (between the railway line and the river) and GMV. The boundary starts at the Trafalgar Tavern, goes down Park Row, turns along Park Vista (including the houses on both sides), and then follows the railway line. All three of this ward's councillors are currently Labour - though, in a sign of potential vulnerability, one of the sitting Labour councillors, council leader Chris Roberts, has done a "chicken run" to a a safer ward.
Peninsula is probably a contest between Labour and the Greens, though the challenger here is less clear than in the other two wards.
Everything south of the railway line, east of the park and west of the A102 (M) is in Blackheath Westcombe. This includes nearly all of Maze Hill, the Blackheath Standard area, Westcombe Park, and the bits of Blackheath Village that fall in Greenwich borough. One of this ward's councillors is Labour and the other two are Conservatives.
Blackheath Westcombe is a contest between Labour and the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems a long way in third.
The judgments I've made are based on the results at the 2006 council elections (and on no other elections - the Mayoral vote is not really comparable.) There are three councillors in each ward, so you have three votes. Last time, Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives each stood three candidates in each ward. The Greens only stood one candidate in each ward.
The percentage shares of the vote for each party in 2006 were as follows:
Because the Greens only stood one candidate in each ward in 2006 (they are standing three in each ward this year), they limited their capacity to get votes and these figures probably understate their level of support. Many Green supporters would probably have cast more than one of their votes for the party had they been able to. There are also substantial differences between candidates of the same party - in Peninsula, Mary Mills got 250 more votes than her two Labour colleagues.
So I have also worked out each party's share based on average votes per candidate. They were as follows:
One last thing - you can, of course, register a qualified endorsement of/ protest against the council by splitting your votes, giving some of them to Labour and some to the opposition.