We knew it would be close, says Lib Dem winner Liz

PUBLISHED: 13:37 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Liz Beardwell captured the Royston Palace Ward for the LibDems

Liz Beardwell captured the Royston Palace Ward for the LibDems

LES BAKER reports on the outcome of Thursday s North Herts District Council elections LIBERAL Democrat Liz Beardwell captured a seat in Thursday s elections - but then admitted she had prepared herself for losing. We knew it would be close, she said

LES BAKER reports on the outcome of

Thursday's North Herts

District Council elections

LIBERAL Democrat Liz Beardwell captured a seat in Thursday's elections - but then admitted she had prepared herself for losing.

"We knew it would be close," she said after taking the Royston Palace ward from sitting Conservative candidate Bill Davidson.

She took the seat with a majority of just 52 votes to gain a place on North Herts District Council.

It was the second district council election in succession that the Liberal Democrats had gained the seat.

Two years ago Cllr Robert Inwood took the ward for the party.

Cllr Beardwell said on becoming a councillor that she was "delighted to be given the opportunity".

And the reason for her success? "The party as a whole worked hard to gain support and we used all our efforts on polling day to get people out to vote."

Indeed, during the day campaign workers at polling stations from all political parties were reporting that the result would be close.

The Liberal Democrats, however, were criticised over election leaflets distributed during the weeks of campaigning.

Mr Davidson said: "I was sad to see some of the untruths that were being used by the Liberal Democrats."

One example he mentioned was over an increase in parking charges in Royston.

"The only person to agree to the increase was Cllr Inwood. This, obviously, was not mentioned by them," he claimed.

The Liberal Democrats, he said, had "stretched" the truth over cuts to firefighters in Royston.

"It's true the county council approved the cuts, but Royston's county councillor, the district council, and the town council all opposed the suggestion," he said.

"I think people may have been misled by some of the suggestions from the Liberal Democrats," said Mr Davidson.

That being said, Mr Davidson stressed it was not "sour grapes".

Cllr Beardwell said the Liberal Democrats leaflet campaign was simply designed to gain support.

"We were just working hard to get support," she said.

She continued that she would be having a meeting with her Liberal Democrat council colleagues to discuss the issues and plans for the group over the coming months.

Her priorities, she said, revolved seeing an increase in re-cycling, the setting up of a youth council in Royston and the future of the Royston Town Hall.

Although she gained the seat for the Liberal Democrats, it was the party's only success of the election.

Indeed, the party lost a key seat in the Letchworth south west ward.

In the early hours of Friday, as the count in the Letchworth Leisure Centre came to an end, the ruling Tories had gained five seats - all at the expense of Labour.

Elsewhere in Royston, Cllr Fiona Hill held the Heath ward seat, and Cllr Tony Hunter, the Meridian ward.

STATE OF THE PARTIES

CON 33 (+5)

LAB 9 (-5)

LIB DEM 7

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