Candidates in North Herts prepare to stand for county council elections
Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Archant
More than 300 political hopefuls across Herts are battling it out for a place on the county council, as the countdown to polling day continues.
In North Herts, Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat party candidates are standing for election in all nine of the county council seats within the district.
Candidates from Christian Peoples Alliance are standing in three of the divisions - with Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts and Reform fielding candidates too.
Currently seven of the nine county council seats in North Herts are held by Conservatives - with one Labour and one Liberal Democrat - but in the 2017 election three of the seats were among those with some of the closest margins in Hertfordshire.
In Hitchin South the Conservatives were just 114 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats, and in Letchworth North they were just 107 votes ahead of Labour.
But the closest seat of all in the North Herts area was Royston West and Rural, which the Lib Dems won with 1,976 votes - just 62 more votes than the Conservatives.
North Herts is the only area within the county where all the sitting councillors will be standing for re-election on May 6.
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Across Herts, there are 327 candidates who have registered to stand as county councillors.
The Conservatives and Labour Party have candidates standing in every one of the council's 78 divisions. Liberal Democrats are standing in every seat except one, in North Ware, and the Green Party, who currently do not have a single seat on the council - have 62 candidates listed across the county.
Each are hoping for a place on the county council, which is responsible for a wide range of services including education, social services, waste disposal, public health – and even the fire service.
Currently the Conservatives on the county council have a majority of 20 – holding 49 seats, compared to the Lib Dems 18, Labour’s nine and the two independents.
But opposition parties will be keen to make gains in a number of seats where the margins are tight.
There are 12 seats across the county where councillors were elected last time with a majority of less than five per cent – including seven held by Conservatives.