Representatives from parties across Hertsmere appeal for your votes in the borough elections on Thursday.

Cllr Jeremy Newmark is the Labour group leader.

He says: “During this campaign we’ve heard the concerns and the aspirations of local people. You told us how you are experiencing the effects of nine years of austerity in your communities.

“Recently, Hertsmere lost over half its government funding. At the same time, this austerity has increased demand for services. There isn't a single part of our Borough that hasn't been affected by Tory cuts, with NHS provision and social care in crisis, crime rising, bus routes cut and a lack of affordable housing. You and your families deserve better.

“Labour will rebuild our local economy so that it works in the interests of the many, not the few. We’ll invest in local services and communities so they can thrive. Labour will address Hertsmere’s infrastructure deficit before building more houses. We’ll fund this using the levy charged to developers who profit from building in Hertsmere. We’ll slash allowances paid to Councillors.

“This is a two-horse race. Only Labour can beat the Tories in Hertsmere. Whatever your views on national politics, think local and help us get the best deal for Hertsmere. The way to do this is by electing as many Labour councillors as possible on 2 May so we can work with you to take Labour's positive message of radical change forward in Hertsmere and send a message to the Government that austerity must end.”

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr Jeremy Newmark

Andy Lewis, representing the Lib Dems says: “On Thursday, across England, almost 9000 council seats will be contested and here in Hertsmere all 39 councillors are up for re-election. The Liberal Democrats in Hertsmere are putting up their strongest set of candidates for many years. We are campaigning in wards across the borough, spending time listening to residents and taking on board their concerns.

“Hertsmere Borough Council has a long history of Conservative leadership and has been without a credible opposition for some time. This period of one party rule has made the Conservatives complacent. It is time for a change, time for more transparency and more accountability.

“In Borehamwood, my priority is making sure that development is focused on affordable homes while ensuring that all new housing is supported by appropriate improvements in infrastructure, and that developers are kept under better control. My colleague, Andrew Melville, who is standing in Bushey North, is particularly concerned to improve the transport links for peripheral areas of Hertsmere, as parts of our borough can feel particularly neglected. Saif Al-Saadoon, Chair of Hertsmere Liberal Democrats and candidate for Aldenham East, is focused on the Borough’s finances. He wants improved financial controls with better monitoring and protection of the Borough’s assets. We all want to protect the green spaces that make Hertsmere a pleasant place to live.

“This May 2nd, the voters of Hertsmere will have a clear choice between an unscrutinised Council making decisions unchallenged or a fresh start with local Lib Dem champions standing up for residents. Demand Better - Vote Liberal Democrat.”

Borehamwood Times:

Andy Lewis

Leader of the council, Conservative Morris Bright, says: “Conservative-run Hertsmere borough council provides over 60 services including recycling collections, Police Community Support Officers, award-wining parks, open spaces, leisure centres and swimming pools.

“Our share of council tax is £162 a year. The rest goes to Herts County, the Police and Parishes. Council-owned Elstree Studios pay £1.5 million to the council every year, that’s 20% of the council tax and is responsible for hundreds of local jobs.

“Hertsmere is a great place to live and work. We must ensure it stays that way. Yes, the borough will grow and develop but not at any cost. There must be the right infrastructure, such as roads and health centres, in place.

“This Conservative council has taken strong action to evict Travellers from parks and we now have a three-year court ban on traveller incursions.

“Hertsmere is proud of our award-winning parks and we know how much they are enjoyed by residents. So even in tough times your Conservative council continues to invest in parks. Indeed Borehamwood recently had the largest investment in a Hertsmere park in 20 years.

“And in our latest three yearly independent survey of over 1,000 residents, more than 8 out of 10 say you are happy living here. Two thirds are happy with how the council runs things. And 96% feel safe on our streets.

“So please do support all you Conservative party candidates, who live locally, so we can continue working for you, for the very best for our roads, or towns and our communities.”

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr Morris Bright

UKIP’s David Hoy says: “Well first I want to get Brexit out of the way, we have all heard so much on this and it has been handled in the most appalling way by a Government that is not fit for purpose. UKIP Hertsmere fought hard to win this vote believing in democracy and that a win means a win.

“Sorry but we want to leave even more and will continue fighting hard seeing that the E.U. have not treated us well. Housing is a shambles, despite huge building projects locally the poor being excluded by the high costs involved.

“Schools are overloaded, doctors, dentists, car parks, roads all overloaded and have not been increased with demand. We will fight for the weaker voices in Hertsmere and will not keep quiet until the weak voices have been heard.

“A Manifesto is only a statement of intent and as everyone knows has rarely been upheld. We promise to fight hard for the good hard working voices that are never heard. UKIP councillors would help to redress the balance of a nearly one party council.”

Borehamwood Times:

David Hoy

Joe Hunter, on behalf of the Independent candidates, says: “I don’t believe that we are being served well by most of our local politicians and so I decided to stand as an independent candidate. Like me most people I feel disillusioned and politically homeless.

“I attended the open council meeting last Wednesday 24th April and I was dismayed at what I witnessed. So much so that I decided to analyse the video footage I took, together with the supplied agenda, in order to put my observations into perspective. Please look at the data (below) as it illustrates effectively why we need change in the borough council. We need independent councillors who can approach the issues free from national party politics and local party pressure.

“Unbiased seats on the council could help to balance things out so that some of the issues can be addressed in a more pragmatic way. The instrument to be creative is there, it seems that the present council is unwilling to implement it or lacks the foresight to. I would like to see more of the 'flexible' resources being put into community projects to improve the wellbeing of the town and the borough through the implementation of the General Power of Competence Localism Act 2011."

Regarding Mr Hunter's comments about timings at council meetings, a Hertsmere Borough Council spokeswoman said: "The council’s constitution determines the processes that we follow at our full council meetings.

"The Mayor’s role is to chair the meeting in a way that ensures any members who are entitled to speak about a particular issue are afforded that opportunity.

"Whilst the council’s constitution provides a framework to follow and the Mayor will do all she or he can to ensure time is managed effectively, conduct at the meeting rests with the elected members themselves.

"In terms of the running order for these public meetings, key decision-making reports are brought forward to an early part of the agenda to ensure there is an opportunity for these to be debated and that decisions are duly taken."

Data collated by Mr Hunter at last week's full council meeting.

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