May the Fourth be with you.

The Libs Dems are the last major party to confirm their candidate for the West of England election. Stephen Williams – ex MP for Bristol West and once a councillor on the old Avon authority – will fight for their corner.

Competing for the Conservatives will be South Glos councillor Tim Bowles; for the Greens, Darren Hall, who came second in the Bristol West parliamentary election in 2015 ahead of Williams; and for Labour, parish councillor and NHS manager Lesley Mansell.

I actually welcome theWest of England deal under someone who can maybe speed up the local government machine with a good dose of political Red X – remember that? I am not of course inferring that only a left wing candidate could do that.

I also wonder – with Bath’s contentious east of Bath park and ride proposals currently simmering away – that any successful candidate who is not Conservative could act as a ‘beta blocker’ to scupper those green belt high jinks.

So will we have a competition to give this new authority a special name or can we live with WECA?

Where will the Metro Mayor be based? Will the authority have a coat of arms or a flag? What will it say on the headed notepaper?

We elect the Mayor on May 4th. Officially, the new authority swings into action on May 5th.

One final point – and forgive me but l am under the influence of steroids and antibiotics for the worst cold l have ever experienced – did you know May 4th is now known as Star Wars Day.

Fans of this amazing cinematic sci fi thread quickly saw how it fitted in with that most famous of lines – May the Fourth (Force) be with you.

I certainly hope it is.

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