St Albans voters ready for Herts County elections

Polling station

Polling station - 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.

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

St Stephens

Lesley Baker - Gree Party

Sue Featherstone - Conservative

*Aislinn Lee - Liberal Democrat

Josh Molloy - Labour Party

Peter Whitehead - UK Independence Party

The Colneys

*Christopher Brazier - Liberal Democrat

Lydia El-Khouri - Green Party

Dreda Gordon - Labour and Co-operative Party

Christopher Thorpe - UK Independence Party

Dave Winstone - Conservative