LOCAL ELECTIONS: Conservatives lose four seats in Stortford but retain control of East Herts
The Liberal Democrats won four East Herts Council seats from the Conservatives in Bishop's Stortford in Thursday's local elections – but the Tories remain in control of the authority.
There was no repeat of the whitewash for the Conservatives in 2015, when they won all 50 seats on the district council.
They now have 40 seats. The Lib Dems have six – they gained Stanstead Abbotts and held Watton-at-Stone as well as their Stortford successes – while Labour won two seats in Hertford's Sele ward and the Green Party also won two, one each in Hertford and Ware.
Conservative former town mayors Colin Woodward and Keith Warnell, the current chairman of the district council, were the high-profile Tory casualties in Bishop's Stortford.
The Lib Dem trio of Chris Wilson, Terence Beckett and Louie Corpe won all three seats in All Saints ward, while Mione Goldspink, a former mayor and chairman of the town's food bank, was elected in Meads ward and returns to EHC having served previously.
Cllr Wilson, whose political activity was driven by concerns about air pollution levels at Hockerill, said: "I am humbled and delighted that the residents of All Saints have placed their trust in me.
"I have really enjoyed talking to so many people over the last few weeks and promise I will do my utmost to repay their faith in me. I would also like to thank and pay tribute to the amazing Mione Goldspink for her support."
The Conservatives held Stortford's Central, Silverleys and South wards.
It means that of the 13 Stortford seats on East Herts Council, nine are held by Conservatives and the four others by the Lib Dems.
As well as the Lib Dem quartet, there are two other new faces among the Stortford 13: Tories David Snowdon, who was runner-up in Meads, and Alastair Ward-Booth – who stood down from the town council, to which he was elected as a teenager in the last local elections in 2015 – in Silverleys.
A total of 20,937 votes were cast for the 40 candidates in the five Bishop's Stortford wards:
- Conservative (13 candidates) – 9,145 (43.7%)
- Lib Dem (9 candidates) – 5,299 (25.3%)
- Labour (12 candidates) – 4,435 (21.2%)
- Green (3 candidates) – 1,412 (6.7%)
- UKIP (3 candidates) – 646 (3.1%)
The turnout ranged from 29.36% in Central to 36.28% in All Saints.
In Sawbridgeworth, Conservative trio Angela Alder, Ruth Buckmaster and John Burmicz were elected. Ruth's husband Eric, who vacated his Sawbridgeworth seat to stand in Hunsdon, narrowly held off his Green Party rival to win that seat by 345 votes to 306.
The count took place at Ware's Wodson Park Sports Centre through the night. The first result was announced soon after 1am and the last one shortly before 5am.
Elections for 17 new members of Bishop's Stortford Town Council also took place yesterday. The count will be held at 11am on Friday.
BISHOP'S STORTFORD ALL SAINTS (3 elected)
Chris Wilson (Lib Dem) 1,042
Terence Beckett (Lib Dem) 995
Louie Corpe (Lib Dem) 979
Colin Woodward (Con) 732
Patricia Moore (Con) 635
Shane Manning (Con) 602
Margaret Barker (Lab) 281
Eamonn Abbott (Lab) 255
Alistair Lindsay (UKIP) 195
Turnout: 36.28% Result: 3 Lib Dem gains from Con
BISHOP'S STORTFORD CENTRAL (3 elected)
Norma Symonds (Con) 683
George Cutting (Con) 678
Holly Drake (Con) 656
Bob Taylor (Lib Dem) 579
Thomas Diamond (Lab) 553
Sotirios Adamopoulos (Lab) 538
David Jacobs (Lab) 514
Liz Downes (Green) 471
Lucy Downes (Green) 434
Peter Day (UKIP) 284
Turnout: 29.36% Result: 3 Con holds
BISHOP'S STORTFORD MEADS (2 elected)
Mione Goldspink (Lib Dem) 656
David Snowdon (Con) 537
Jill Sortwell (Lab) 432
Keith Warnell (Con) 417
Elif Toker-Turnalar (Lab) 412
Stewart Trench (UKIP) 167
Turnout: 34.21% Result: 1 Lib Dem gain from Con, 1 Con hold
BISHOP'S STORTFORD SILVERLEYS (2 elected)
Tim Page (Con) 766
Alastair Ward-Booth (Con) 741
Miriam Swainston (Lib Dem) 497
Ian Payton (Lab) 268
Natalie Russell (Lab) 229
Turnout: 33.42% Result: 2 Con holds
BISHOP'S STORTFORD SOUTH (3 elected)
Diane Hollebon (Con) 929
Graham McAndrew (Con) 898
John Wyllie (Con) 871
Calvin Horner (Lib Dem) 597
Laura King (Green) 507
Stephen Skinner (Lib Dem) 505
Paul Tenconi (Lib Dem) 389
Andrew Cowley (Lab) 387
Shem Jacobs (Lab) 286
Rod Abouharb (Lab) 280
Turnout: 30.98% Result: 3 Con holds