The main political parties launched their election campaigns this week as final nominations were accepted for local council elections in Hertsmere.

In all, 4,360 council seats will be contested on May 4 in 144 local authorities nationwide.

In Hertsmere a third of the borough council's 39 seats will be up for grabs as councillors whose term in office expires are forced to stand down or seek re-election.

Councillors are elected for four years and there will be 13 council seats up for grabs in the borough this year, with the addition of one by-election following the decision of Councillor Nigel Gilmore (Aldenham East) to step down.

Of these 14 seats, nine are currently held by the ruling Conservative Party, three by Labour and two by the Liberal Democrats.

It is not possible for the leadership of the council to change hands in the election.

At present the majority Conservative Party hold 26 seats on the council, Labour have seven and the Liberal Democrats six.

Hertsmere is divided into 15 wards. In Borehamwood there are elections in four wards, three of which are currently Labour seats and one Conservative.

There are also elections in Shenley, Elstree, Aldenham, Bushey and Potters Bar.

Hertsmere Mayor Ron Gealy finishes his year in office and is not standing for re-election in the Bushey Heath Ward. A new mayor will be elected next month.

Borehamwood Labour councillors Len Silverstone and Joe Goldberg are also retiring from their wards in Brookmeadow and Cowley Hill.

There will be no seats contested this year for Hertfordshire County Council.