Posted: 09.05.21 at 18:04 by Deborah Price
The Conservatives have retained their control of Hertfordshire County Council – but lost their leader in an election shock.
All 78 seats on the county council were up for grabs in the local elections on Thursday.
The Conservatives won 46 seats – which is three fewer than they held before, but still 14 more than the other Parties put together.
Liberal Democrats took 23 seats – which is five more than before. And Labour’s seven elected councillors is now two less than before.
The Green Party now have their first member of the county council , after Ben Crystall won the All Saints Hertford division.
Meanwhile Independent Jan Maddern also made it on to the county council – taking the Hemel Hempstead South East seat, which had been held by the Tories.
But the shock result of the night was in the Harpedenden North East division, in St Albans, where council leader Cllr David Williams lost his seat to Liberal Democrat Paul De Kort by just 41 votes.
Among other ballot box casualties was Conservative cabinet member Cllr Derrick Ashley (Hitchin South), who held the portfolio for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy.
His seat was taken by Liberal Democrat Paul Clark.
The final results for the county council elections – which took place on May 6 – were published just after 11pm on Saturday night.
Counting of the ballot papers had been delayed on the advice of public health chiefs – so that papers could be quarantined, in order to prevent the risk of Covid spread.
Votes for county council seats in Broxbourne were counted on Friday – but the remaining nine areas of the county started to count the papers on Saturday morning.