Voters go back to polls

First published in News by

Hertsmere residents flocked to the polling stations last week to determine who would represent them on the borough council.

More than twice as many people decided to vote this year resulting in an exceptionally high turnout ranging from 30 per cent in Borehamwood's Cowley Hill to 44 per cent for Aldenham East last year it was as low as 15 per cent in some Borehamwood wards.

It was a disappointing night for Hertsmere Labour Group when it lost two seats to the Tories and found itself on level pegging with the Liberal Democrats for the first time.

Both groups now have seven seats, and Hertsmere's ruling Tories are ahead with 25 seats.

The Conservatives were celebrating as Labour lost control of Tim Sandle's Brookmeadow seat, once a stronghold, to Tory Jeremy Segall.

Newly elected Councillor Segall said the result came as a surprise. "I'm delighted. I didn't walk in here tonight expecting to win because Conservatives have never won in this ward. It's a great result for us."

In Borehamwood Hillside Tory Hannah David ran in what had been Lorna Ward's Labour seat, and won it with a majority of 235 over this year's Labour candidate Peter Hedges.

Mr Hedges, Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood, said he was disappointed with the result but pleased with the turnout. "It's been very tense and the result was to be expected in some ways we have to bear in mind the national situation.

"We'll live to fight another day, and hopefully be able to pull it back next time," he said.

Councillor David said she was "delighted" with her victory in the Hillside ward. "It's been a good night for us. The public are becoming increasingly disillusioned with national government and this is being reflected locally."

In the Cowley Hill ward Labour's Ann Harrison ran in what was Martin Heywood's Conservative seat and won it with a majority of 87 while Mr Heywood won the Potters Bar Oakmere seat with a majority of 709.

Councillor Harris said she was pleased with result. "It's been a tight campaign and we are all pleased with the turnout, which is likely to be because of the European election."

In Bushey Conservative Carey Keates lost his seat to Lib Dem Kim Boughton, who scraped in with a majority of 59 votes. All other seats were held with the Tories retaining complete control of Potters Bar and Aldenham.

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