Reaction to St Albans district council election results

PUBLISHED: 12:59 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:03 07 May 2018

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The Liberal Democrats won most of the city centre district council seats in yesterday’s elections.

In all but two of the St Albans city centre wards, Lib Dem candidates bagged a majority - with both the Conservatives and Labour suffering a loss of one seat, although Stella Nash successfully took a seat in the Lib Dem stronghold of Park Street.

However, as only a third of seats were being contested, Conservatives still hold St Albans district council overall.

It was a 46.5 per cent turnout.

Conservative group and council leader Alec Campbell said: “I have mixed emotions - I am disappointed we did lose seats but pleased that we have still got a majority on the council and we will continue to work with other parties to deliver on the corporate plan.”

He said Alun Davies, who lost his St Peter’s seat to Lib Dem Jacqui Taylor, was a “hardworking local councillor”.

Alun told the Herts Ad: “I am desperately disappointed. I worked really hard and I think a number of officers and councillors from all the parties appreciate that I was hardworking and it is just that politics can be a bit unkind sometimes.

“I think other parties were better at campaigning. I concentrated on the job and working for the residents of St Peter’s but it wasn’t enough in the end.”

Labour group leader Roma Mills took the Herts county council by-election for St Albans North, and won a district seat in Batchwood.

She said: “I feel that I now owe it to the voters of Batchwood and St Albans North to live up to their expectations, with decisions and hard work, and deliver for them.”

Cllr Mills said the election result feels like validation after all her hard work.

”The big issues for the people in the city are going to be the new Local Plan and what that is going to mean but I think that there are significant issues about education, housing provision and regarding public transport - there are lots of local issues we have to focus on.”

Green Party spokesperson Simon Grover said: “It was a good night for the Green Party across England, with a number of gains and new councillors elected.

“So we were disappointed to only come a close second in efforts to get Keith Cotton elected as our second Green councillor in St Peter’s ward, to join me on St Albans district council. However, we were pleased to see both our percentage vote and total votes in the ward go up this time.”

Cllr Chris White, Lib Dem group leader, said he was delighted to have four new Lib Dem councillors: “The Conservatives have clung on for one more year but it is clear that next year will see them out of office at last as more Liberal Democrat gains in these seats and elsewhere can be expected.

“This also shows that the Liberal Democrats are moving forward in the parliamentary constituency, continuing to take votes from both Labour and the Conservatives.”

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