Only eight candidates put themselves forward for this year’s Shenley Parish Council elections – meaning the area is still short of one representative.

Four people stood down from representing wards at last week’s local elections.

This meant the parish council election was uncontested and residents were not given the option to vote for their preferred candidates at the polls on Thursday.

Although the area typically has nine councillors, the authority had the option of adding an extra three after the Porters Park development was built in 1999.

Councillor Rosemary Gilligan, who has been a Conservative representative for 26 years, said: “People aren’t getting as involved as they used to. I know people are disappointed we didn’t have an election.

“The problem is that at parish, like any group, finding people to volunteer to do the job can be a huge problem.

“It’s so important though – at this level, we have a bit of influence on the community because we know them better than anyone. We try to do the best we can for them.”

When she first started out as a councillor in 1988, Cllr Gilligan said the roles were heavily oversubscribed.

The parish council is responsible for holding certain events including the Shenley Fete, looking after groups and clubs and maintaining the playing fields.

Cllr Gilligan, who also held her seat on Hertsmere Borough Council with 749 votes, added: “At this level, on a parish council political stuff doesn’t always matter.

“On the parish council we’ve had many people under different banners, but we do our best to suit our community, regardless.

“Even with just nine representatives, we’ll obviously do our upmost to serve the residents in Shenley.”