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New resignation for East Herts Green Party as district council planning guru Vicky Glover-Ward quits Hertford Town Council group





East Herts’ planning and growth guru has defended her decision to remain a member of the district’s ruling Green Party group – while sitting as an Independent on Hertford Town Council.

Cllr Vicky Glover-Ward, who was elected to both authorities last year, is the third Green Party councillor to make such a switch in the 10 months since.

The Greens won 19 seats in the May 2023 local elections to become the largest group on East Herts Council (EHC) and end Conservative control for the first time in 28 years.

Cllr Vicky Glover-Ward has quit Hertford Town Council’s Green group but remains a member of East Herts Council’s Green group – and as a result, they retain a numerical advantage over the Conservatives
Cllr Vicky Glover-Ward has quit Hertford Town Council’s Green group but remains a member of East Herts Council’s Green group – and as a result, they retain a numerical advantage over the Conservatives

With a power base in Hertford, Ware and Buntingford, they formed a coalition with 10 Liberal Democrats, including eight from Bishop’s Stortford. That left 16 Tories and five Labour members in opposition.

But since then, Ware councillors Martin Butcher and Chris Hart have quit as members of the district Green Party group and now sit as Independents.

Cllr Butcher (Ware St Mary’s) also resigned as EHC chairman following a row about his comments on social media relating to the Israel-Hamas war. Nevertheless, he remains both deputy mayor of Ware and a Green Party member of its town council. Cllr Hart (Ware Trinity) has not responded to inquiries about why she decided to sit as a district Independent.

Cllr Martin Butcher left the Green Party group on East Herts Council following a row about his anti-Israel comments on social media – but he remains a Green Party member of Ware Town Council, where he is deputy mayor
Cllr Martin Butcher left the Green Party group on East Herts Council following a row about his anti-Israel comments on social media – but he remains a Green Party member of Ware Town Council, where he is deputy mayor

A report to Hertford Town Council’s finance, policy and administration committee on March 11 reveals Cllr Glover-Ward resigned as a Green member on February 12.

If she had followed suit at the district council, the Greens would no longer have been the largest party.

She told the Indie: “I remain a member of the Green Party and anticipate that this will continue throughout my term of office [on East Herts Council] and beyond.

“After much thought, I decided that I would step out of the Green group at Hertford Town Council and sit as an Independent for personal reasons. This decision is entirely separate to my membership of the Green group at East Herts Council so does not impact on my sitting as either a local or executive member.

Former Green Party Cllr Chris Hart has not responded to inquiries about why she decided to sit as an Independent on East Herts Council
Former Green Party Cllr Chris Hart has not responded to inquiries about why she decided to sit as an Independent on East Herts Council

“Prior to my election, I represented the views of Kingsmead residents by sitting on and/or chairing local community organisations, and I expect to continue to vigorously represent Kingsmead residents on the town council.

“At the district council, I endeavour to serve the needs of the wider area, as well as my local ward, in my roles as executive and local councillor respectively.”

Eight of her former Green colleagues on Hertford Town Council are fellow Green members of East Herts Council and four sit with her on the district’s executive. They include East Herts leader Cllr Ben Crystall (Hertford Bengeo).

Cllr Ben Crystall is the Green Party leader of East Herts Council
Cllr Ben Crystall is the Green Party leader of East Herts Council

He told the Indie: “Cllr Glover-Ward has chosen to become Independent on Hertford Town Council for her own personal reasons. Last year, Cllr Butcher and Cllr Hart chose to become Independents at the district council for their own, different reasons, and I respect all of their individual decisions. They all remain paying Green Party members and retain their Green Party values.

“It is important to understand that the Green Party is different from other parties because we never whip our councillors to vote in a specific way on any issue. So to some extent, all Green Party councillors act independently and are not tied to voting as a block like the other main parties. To my mind, that’s a positive thing for local democracy, a strength when the situation in one ward or one town can be very different to that in another.

“Rather than telling our Green councillors that they must all vote the same way, we rely on discussion and consensus building. We believe that democracy at local authorities would be all the better if every decision voted on in councils was made in that way.

“Meanwhile, voters can remain confident that Cllrs Glover-Ward, Butcher and Hart are still committed to their green principles, and I know they will continue to represent residents to the very best of their abilities.”



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