LibDems gain control in St Albans as Labour collapse
LABOUR S vote in St Albans collapsed at the district council elections leaving the local party with only five seats and propelling the LibDems back into overall control. With one-third of St Albans council up for re-election, Labour lost all three of the
LABOUR'S vote in St Albans collapsed at the district council elections leaving the local party with only five seats and propelling the LibDems back into overall control.
With one-third of St Albans council up for re-election, Labour lost all three of the seats it was defending in its previous strongholds with both Batchwood and Sopwell going to the LibDems and London Colney switching to the Conservatives.
Elsewhere two of the four seats in Harpenden reverted to the Tories from the LibDems and Independent respectively while Wheathampstead LibDem councillor Paul Edelston lost his seat to the Conservative Gillian Clark, a former district councillor.
The LibDems also gained the seat in Verulam from the Tories while Tony Swendell in Redbourn is now the only Independent on the council after comfortably defending his seat in the village.
Two county councillors, Allan Witherick in Batchwood and Chris White - the party's group leader in Herts - now join the 30 LibDem councillors on St Albans district council where the Conservatives went up to 22, Labour slipped to five and there is one Independent.
It means that once again the LibDems have overall control of the council having run it for the past year as the largest single party. Group leader, Cllr Robert Donald, said: "I am delighted. It is really good to have a majority again.
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"We have been able to carry out LibDem policies despite being tied on no overall control but we can now go forward with some of the bigger issues."
Labour group leader, Cllr Roma Mills, who is also her party's prospective Parliamentary candidate in St Albans, put the outcome down to a swing against national government and rued the loss of their candidates in the three seats they conceded.
But she added: "I remember a time when the Conservatives were down to six seats in St Albans and this vote is about the public view of central government at the moment.