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Tories hold Bishop's Stortford Town Council seat with victory for David Snowdon

The Conservatives won a by-election held in Bishop’s Stortford on Thursday (Dec 6) to retain all 18 seats on the town council.

David Snowdon polled 459 votes (46.1%), beating Liberal Democrat Terence Beckett into second on 321 (32.2%) with Labour’s Elif Toker-Turnalar third on 216 (21.7%).

The turnout was 21.8% from an electorate of 4,629 voters.

The by-election, which cost £6,000, was sparked by the resignation of Gillian Campbell for personal reasons more than six months before next May’s local elections, when all 18 seats on the town council and 50 seats on East Herts Council will be up for grabs.

After holding the seat for the Tories, Mr Snowdon said: “I am honoured to have been elected to serve as a town councillor for Meads ward. I look forward to working hard for local residents and starting to deliver on all the issues I raised during the campaign.

“We have a Conservative team on the town council who are dedicated to making Bishop's Stortford an even greater place to live, and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in alongside them."

The 38-year-old economist lives in Nightingales with wife Naomi, 34, who is an office manager.

Educated at Cambridge University, he served as a councillor in the London borough of Tower Hamlets from 2008 to 2014 and was deputy leader of the authority’s Conservative group.

He said: “Stortford is a friendly town with a strong sense of community and great schools. We need to keep investing in local services and amenities to make sure that Stortford remains a great place to live.”

In the meantime, two East Herts Council seats will remain vacant – including an All Saints ward seat in Stortford. Last month, Conservative Cllr Stan Stainsby was disqualified from office for failing to attend any meetings for a six-month period.

He said: “It is with regret that for personal reasons in the main due to changing jobs to a night shift that I am no longer a district councillor. Travelling to Hertford proved to be very difficult for me. I am considering my position as town councillor given the situation.”

When he was elected to EHC in May 2015, Mr Stainsby also won an All Saints seat on the town council as one of 18 Conservatives.

The Local Government Act 1972 states that where a member fails to attend any meeting of an authority within six months of their last attendance, they cease to be a member and the authority is under a duty to declare the office vacant.

Cllr Paul Kenealy, who represented Cottered and the Mundens, has also left office.

East Herts says by-elections for the two vacant seats will not be held in advance of next May’s elections.

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