Suffolk was mostly not involved in the local elections that took place on May 2, apart from Ipswich Borough Council, where roughly a third of the seats were being contested and Labour gained five councillors, increasing their majority.

In Mid Suffolk we had a by-election in one of the Stowmarket wards, with the Green candidate comfortably holding on to the seat. In other parts of the country Greens made some significant gains, taking seats off both Labour and the Conservatives. Greens are now the largest party on Bristol City Council, Stroud District Council in Gloucestershire, Hastings Borough Council and several other local authorities. We now have over 800 councillors (Reform UK by contrast has just nine).

Mid Suffolk remains the only council where the Green Party holds a full majority of the seats, and this high profile has resulted in us receiving a certain amount of flak in recent weeks: We have been described as “watermelons” (Green on the outside, socialist red on the inside).

In The Times, columnist Janice Turner called us “sensible mangoes” (Green outside, but LibDem orange in the middle). Even the veteran Labour politician Lord Mandelson has been giving the Green Party some stick.

I take it as a compliment that we are being criticised by both the Labour party and by the right-of-centre Murdoch press – we must be getting something right! Having now been in administration for a year here in Mid Suffolk, we can point to the progress that our sensible, practical approach has been making.

If anyone was worried that they had elected an extremist rabble to run the district, think again: The bins are still being emptied, planning applications are being decided, the council’s Local Plan has been approved and our Green councillors are busy representing their communities and helping people with their problems.

Our ambition is to continue delivering the council’s services to a high standard – but we want to go beyond that and address the challenges that our residents face – putting environmental concerns and social justice at the heart of the council’s plans.

We’re putting funding to support community transport initiatives, encouraging communities to be involved in planning decisions by producing neighbourhood plans, and at our council meeting later today, hope to get funds approved for our skills and innovation centre to be built near Stowmarket.

We’ve also tried to take a different approach politically – discussing our plans with councillors from other parties and with the communities where we are working – so that people feel they are being “worked-with” rather than “done to”.

In this period leading up to a general election, inevitably political commentators extrapolate local election results to try and see what they mean for the national picture. Short of an abrupt change in fortunes, the Conservatives look to be heading for defeat in a national poll – after 14 years and five prime ministers the public mood seems to be “time for a change”.

However, it’s hard to discern any real enthusiasm for a Kier Starmer premiership, particularly since Labour’s plans do not seem to be a radical departure from those of the current administration, also Starmer does not have the charisma of someone like Tony Blair. It’s a quirk of our first-past-the-post voting system that you don’t really need to be popular to get elected – you just need to be slightly less unpopular than your opponent. It’s quite possible that this general election will result in a Labour landslide victory, but without the excitement that greeted their win back in 1997.

One thing we do know about the election results is that Caroline Lucas will not feature. The Green Party’s only MP so far, first elected in Brighton Pavilion in 2010, is standing down. If ever there is an answer to the accusations of Green extremism, it is Caroline. Her calm, reasoned contributions in parliament and on the media have garnered her multiple awards for Politician of the Year. Despite being a lone MP, she has been extremely effective at raising important issues.

A fairer voting system would mean many more like Caroline Lucas being elected. Whilst we wait for a visionary politician to bring in the change (I’m looking at you, Kier) we campaign under the current arrangement and identify where Green support is at it’s strongest.

This is where things could get very interesting here in Suffolk. At the election the boundaries are moving and a new constituency is created – Waveney Valley, straddling the border with Norfolk. Across this new seat the Greens are the dominant party in local elections. The candidate is one of the party’s co-leaders, Adrian Ramsay, a seasoned campaigner and a regular on national media.

If we do end up with a huge Labour majority, the healthiest thing for our country would be a group of Green MPs being elected too – holding the government to account and speaking up for the planet and people. Later this year, Suffolk could be sending a Green MP to Westminster.

- Councillor Andy Mellen is the Green leader of Mid Suffolk District Council.