IN the first of a series of polls, the Gazette is today asking readers in Berechurch, Castle and Greenstead to cast their vote. 

Each week, we will take three wards and ask readers whose name they will be putting an X beside on Thursday, May 3. 

In Berechurch, Martyn Warnes will be hopeful of regaining his seat but will face opposition from Andrew Bright (Con), Andy Brooke (Green) and Michael Spindler (Lib Dem)

In Castle, most people expect there to be a real fight.

Following the standing down of Conservative Daniel Ellis, there are no sitting councillors on the list.

That means Mr Ellis' replacement Simon Crow will go up against popular teacher Mark Goacher (Green), Labour newcomer Norma Dinnie-Weall and former Colchester councillor Jo Hayes (Lib Dem). 

In Greenstead, Labour's Tina Bourne will be favourite to reclaim her seat which she won alongside Labour colleagues Julie and Tim Young two years ago. 

Independent Christopher Lee will be hoping to garner the anti-establishment vote while John Baker (Lib Dem) will be up against John Clifton (Green) and Fabian Green (Con).

Next up, we'll be finding out who the frontrunners are for Highwoods, Lexden and Braiswick and Marks Tey and Layer.