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LOCAL ELECTIONS: Conservatives lose four seats in Stortford but retain control of East Herts


By Paul Winspear


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:

  1. Conservative (13 candidates) – 9,145 (43.7%)
  2. Lib Dem (9 candidates) – 5,299 (25.3%)
  3. Labour (12 candidates) – 4,435 (21.2%)
  4. Green (3 candidates) – 1,412 (6.7%)
  5. 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



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