A builder who lives under the same roof as his wife and ex-wife is stuck in a political love triangle - because both women are contesting the same seat at the local elections.
Despite their political divisions the two women remain cordial - for now.
Carol said: "I wasn't going to stand again and I've got a good relationship with Shirley. When I decided I wouldn't stand as a councillor, I told her she should try as she'd be brilliant.
"I thought it would suit her down to the ground. I thought perhaps the Conservatives would move Shirley to another ward. But no, it's ended up both of us in the same ward.
"I dreaded telling her. I said 'Look, you're the first person I'm going to tell. My group has asked me to stand again' and she said, 'May the best candidate win'.
"If I wasn't standing, even though we're for different parties, I would want her to get elected because I think she'd be wonderful.
"But once your name's on the ballot paper, the urge to win kicks in. And I wouldn't be standing if I didn't want to be a councillor again."
Shirley was selected by the local Conservative group to contest the Kingsmead seat, which has seven candidates running for two places.
Shirley, who has a grown-up son and daughter, said: "It's the powers-that-be that have done this. I would have preferred not to be against her but there's nothing we can do about it.
Why can't we have nice politicians like that (we US citizens and we Italian residents that is).
Of course they are not in a vicious battle of compettetive niceness are they ? A campaign to watch I'd say.