St Albans voters ready for Herts County elections
- Credit: Archant
THE battle lines have been drawn across the district after 47 candidates have announced they will be competing for local seats on Herts County Council.
All ten divisions in St Albans are up for grabs in the countywide election, which takes place on Thursday, May 2.
This year contenders from the three main political parties and the Green Party have thrown their names into the hat for each vacancy in the district.
But what could play a key role in the closely-contested seats is the strength of the UK Independence Party vote as, unlike the last election in 2009 when they did not field a single candidate, they have also joined the race in seven St Albans district divisions.
The full list of hopefuls includes some familiar names from the district council and several sitting county councillors who are hoping for another four-year stint in office.
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Across the county voters take to the polls every four years and currently at County Hall the balance of political power rests with the ruling Conservative group.
Going into next month’s election the Conservatives have a majority of 54 of the 77 available seats, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 17 seats, Labour which hold three, and the Greens and English Democrats who both have one.
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If you are still feeling perplexed about polling keep reading to find out more.
What is the difference between the county and district council?
The county council is the top-tier of local government in a two-tier system and is responsible for countywide services including education, highways and social services. The district council is in charge of things happening at a more local level such as housing, refuse collection and car parks.
Could I be a county councillor?
Nominations have now closed but residents who meet a certain criteria are eligible to stand every four years even if they are not a member of a political party. This includes being aged 18 or over and a British citizen or citizen of the Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland or another European Union state. Representatives must also be on the electoral register or have lived, worked or owned property in the area for 12 months.
How do I cast my vote?
Residents had until yesterday to make sure their names were on the electoral register or request a postal vote. Proxy vote applications have to be received by April 24 and polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, May 2.
When will the results be announced?
Counting of the votes will take place immediately after polls close and the successful hopefuls will be published on the Herts Advertiser’s website.
The candidates are (* denotes sitting candidate):
Harpenden North East
Pamela Bancroft – Green Party
Jeffrey Phillips – Liberal Democrat
Rosemary Ross - Labour and Co-operative Party
David Williams - Conservative
Harpenden South West
Michael Gray-Higgins - Labour
*Teresa Heritage - Conservative
Maria Moyses - Liberal Democrat
Rosalind Paul - Green Party
*Geoff Churchard - Liberal Democrat
John Paton - Labour
Beric Read - Conservative
John Stocker - UK Independence Party
Ian Troughton - Green Party
St Albans Central
Alec Campbell - Conservative
Andrew Dixon - Labour and Co-operative Party
Jack Easton - Green
*Chris White - Liberal Democrat
St Albans East
Michael Mason - UK Independence Party
*Robert Prowse - Liberal Democrat
Greg Riener - Green Party
Vivienne Windle - Labour
Guy Young - Conservative
St Albans North
Salih Gaygusuz - Conservative
Jill Mills – Green Party
Roma Mills - Labour
Anthony Rowlands - Liberal Democrat
Philip Singleton - UK Independence Party
St Albans Rural
*Maxine Crawley - Conservative
Thomas Hardy - Green Party
Sidney Pratt - UK Independence Party
Judy Shardlow - Liberal Democrat
Linda Spiri - Labour
St Albans South
Dawn Bloor - UK Independence Party
Brian Ellis - Conservative
Kate Metcalf - Green Party
Janet Smith - Labour
Sandy Walkington - Liberal Democrat
Lesley Baker - Gree Party
Sue Featherstone - Conservative
*Aislinn Lee - Liberal Democrat
Josh Molloy - Labour Party
Peter Whitehead - UK Independence Party
*Christopher Brazier - Liberal Democrat
Lydia El-Khouri - Green Party
Dreda Gordon - Labour and Co-operative Party
Christopher Thorpe - UK Independence Party
Dave Winstone - Conservative