Labour celebrates gains in St Albans while Tories keep control of county council

Ballot box

Ballot box - Credit: Archant

THE Conservatives may have taken a drubbing in parts of Hertfordshire following yesterday’s poll but they have kept control of the county council for another four years.

The ruling administration lost a total of nine seats reducing their majority from 55 to 46, while it emerged Labour had made 12 gains as the results continued to trickle in this morning.

It was not a bad night for the Liberal Democrats who reduced their voice at county hall by just one division to 16, but the Greens and English Democrats both failed to retain their only seat.

Meanwhile, despite a strong field of UKIP candidates across the county they were unable to claim any election success.

The picture in the St Albans district, where 10 seats were up for grabs, was also one of Labour triumph with Roma Mills winning St Albans North and Dreda Gordon securing the hotly-contested seat in The Colneys.

Cllr Gordon said: “I am absolutely delighted. It was one of our target seats so we knew there was a possibility of winning it but there is still quite a lot of variables, for example when UKIP joined the race.

“Labour have held The Colneys before so we knew it was doable but we knew there was a lot of work to do.”

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She added: “Labour will certainly be more powerful opposition then we have been before and I think that is healthy for democracy.”

The Liberal Democrats held onto three wards with Aislinn Lee celebrating success in St Stephens, Robert Prowse retaining St Albans East and Chris White keeping his seat in St Albans Central.

While Geoff Churchard saw off challenge from Conservative candidate Beric Read to represent Sandridge, and Sandy Walkington emerged victorious in St Albans South.

Maxine Crawley seized a majority in St Albans Rural for the Tories, and elsewhere they had two more comfortable wins in Harpenden.

Teresa Heritage held her seat in Harpenden South West amassing more than 2,500 votes, and David Williams took Harpenden North East polling over 1,600 votes.

Cllr Heritage said: “Obviously I am honoured that the electorate has chosen to return me to county hall with such an overwhelming majority. I think I actually topped the polls in Hertfordshire and I got an increase in my majority of 4.8 per cent which is excellent.”

Turnout across the district was 35.4 per cent with 106,308 ballots cast.

For more election reaction see next week’s Herts Advertiser.