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Will voters be 'flocking' to the polls to vote in this two-horse race?

PUBLISHED: 12:51 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 25 April 2019

Andy Mellen's campaigning sheep in Cotton. Picture: ANDY MELLEN

Andy Mellen's campaigning sheep in Cotton. Picture: ANDY MELLEN

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A Green candidate vying for a seat on Mid Suffolk District Council is hoping voters will follow like sheep - while elsewhere in the district a Tory hopeful has set her dogs to work on her election campaign.

Andy Mellen has recruited his sheep to his election campaign. Picture: ANDY MELLENAndy Mellen has recruited his sheep to his election campaign. Picture: ANDY MELLEN

Local smallholder Andy Mellen has sprayed “Vote Andy” - in green, of course - on some of the sheep he owns in the village of Cotton.

He is an election veteran and hopes that with the Conservatives' national problems could mean this is his year to take the Bacton Ward. Its boundaries have been re-drawn and include some villages that were previously in the Green Stronghold of Mendlesham.

He said: “Cotton itself has moved into this ward, and with all the things that are happening nationally this could be our year. I thought I'd paint a few of my sheep for a bit of fun and it seems to have caught people's attention.

“It's special paint that you put on sheep and they're due to be sheared over the next couple of weeks so it doesn't do them any harm – they haven't objected!”

Bertie and Alfie spreading the Conservative message in Mendlesham. Picture; ELAINE BRYCEBertie and Alfie spreading the Conservative message in Mendlesham. Picture; ELAINE BRYCE

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He said he'd had a few comments and people seemed to like the unusual electioneering method. “It's brought a bit of a smile to some faces,” he said.

His sole opponent for the seat is sitting Conservative Jill Wilshaw, who was elected to the council four years ago - and she has had to admit that she doesn't have a secret animal weapon up her sleeve.

She admitted it had been a challenge to get people enthused by the election this year, saying: “People seem to want to talk about the national situation when you call.

“I have to say I'm not involved in that – what we are trying to talk about is the way we want to see the council run.”

There are also animals taking part in the neighbouring ward of Mendlesham, where Green councillor Andrew Stringer is facing a challenge from Conservative candidate Elaine Bryce - aided and abetted by her two Jack Russells, Bertie and Alfie.

She said: “They've got their rosettes and we've been going around putting up dispensers with bags for people to clean up their dogs' deposits around Mendlesham.”

This year's local elections are being held next Thursday, May 2, with polling stations everywhere open between 7am and 10pm.
See the full Mid Suffolk candidate list here

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