How many candidates are standing for county council?
Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Archant
More than 300 political hopefuls across Herts are battling it out for a place on the county council, as the countdown to polling day continues.
Currently four of the county council seats in St Albans are held by the Conservatives and four by the Liberal Democrats, with one held by Labour and one by an independent.
All 10 county council seats in the borough will be contested by the Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, and Reform UK candidates will also be standing in the St Albans North and St Albans South divisions.
Independent councillor Roma Mills - who took the St Albans North seat from the Lib Dems in a 2018 by-election, standing as a Labour candidate - will not be standing for the county council position in the May 6 elections, and Conservative councillor Sue Featherstone will be standing down from the St Stephen's seat.
Across Herts there are 327 candidates who have registered to stand as county councillors.
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The Conservatives and the Labour Party have candidates standing in every one of the council's 78 divisions, and Lib Dems are standing in every seat except one, in North Ware.
The Green Party, who do not have a single seat on the council, have 62 candidates listed across the county.
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Each are hoping for a place on the county council, which is responsible for a wide range of services including education, social services, waste disposal, public health – and even the fire service.
Currently the Conservatives on the county council have a majority of 20 – holding 49 seats, compared to the Lib Dems 18, Labour’s nine and the two independents.
But opposition parties will be keen to make gains in a number of seats where the margins are tight.
There are 12 seats across the county where councillors were elected last time with a majority of less than five per cent – including seven held by conservatives.
But regardless of the political results there will be a number of new faces in the council chamber next month – with 20 sitting councillors not standing.
Among those stepping down this time are executive member for resources and performance Cllr Ralph Sangster and executive member for public health Cllr TIm Hutchings.