North Herts council
The Labour candidates for the North Herts District Council wards in our constituency were
Letchworth East: Ian Mantle, current
councillor - held his seat.
Letchworth Wilbury: Deepak Sangha, current councillor - held his seat.
Letchworth Grange: Clare Billing, current councillor - held her seat.
Letchworth South East: Martin Stears-Handscomb (pictured), came second to the Tory candidate.
Letchworth South West: Jean Andrews, second to the Tory candidate, although he had a large majority.
Baldock Town: Geraldine Dobson was also second to the Tory.
Baldock East: Gill Tyler was third, behind the Conservative winner and the Liberal Democrat.
Elections for the North Herts council take place on a rolling basis, with a third of councillors being elected each year, except in the year of county council elections. The wards are multi-member wards with two or three councillors for each one.
Letchworth East and Letchworth Wilbury are two-member wards with both seats held by Labour. Letchworth Grange is a three-member ward with two of the seats held by Labour.
You can read Labour's proposals for North Herts here.
Go to the councillors page for contact details for existing Labour councillors.
7 October 2015 (revised 25 February and 11 April 2016)
Kerry Pollard was well qualified to be Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
He has more than 35 years' experience representing Labour as district councillor, county councillor and as the MP for St Albans (1997 to 2005). He has is a magistrate and was a member of the Police Authority, which oversaw Hertfordshire policing before the coalition government introduced Police and Crime Commissioners.
He is a trustee of NACRO - the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders - and also of the Open Door Night Shelter, which he founded in his home city of St Albans 20 years ago.
His pledges for policing across Hertfordshire were:
Put the community at the heart of the police service.
Ensure we have an effective, efficient and empowered police service.
Promote police visibility - "bobbies on the beat".
Build a police service that embraces diversity.
Ensure our police officers feel and are valued.
25 February 2016
The Conservative candidate, David Lloyd, was re-elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, but the Labour candidate, Kerry Pollard, took the contest to a second round, after the Liberal Democrat and UKIP candidates were eliminated.
Kerry had 27% of the vote in the first round, against 42% for David Lloyd. In the second round, Kerry had just over 40% of the vote against David Lloyd's vote of just under 60%.
It is encouraging to note that, in Stevenage, Kerry had a lead over David Lloyd of 1,639 votes. David Lloyd led the field in all the other council areas, except Watford, where the Liberal Democrat had a marginal lead over Kerry of 113 votes.
6 May 2016
A hugely disappointing election result. Within this constituency, we can take some slight comfort from the fact that Chris York's (pictured right) share of the vote was up by 2.4 percentage points compared with 2010 and that we are once again second in the poll, having fallen behind the Lib. Dems. in 2010. On the other hand, we have to congratulate Sir Oliver Heald not only on his win but also on taking, for the second time, more than half of the votes.
The results were:
Oliver Heald (Conservative)
Chris York (Labour) 9869 18.9% +2.4%
William Compton (UKIP) 6728 12.9% + 8.8%
Joe Jordan (Lib. Dem.) 3952 7.6% -15.8%
Mario May (Green) 2789 5.3% + 3.6%
There is huge sadness that Sharon Taylor failed to win back Stevenage for Labour. Massive effort was put into her campaign, aided by members from our constituency and, indeed, by Chris York. In Hertford and Stortford and in Hitchin and Harpenden, Katherine Chibah and Rachel Burgin respectively fought hard campaigns and also increased Labour's share of the vote.
8 May 2015
District council elections
The results in both North Hertfordshire (where one third of the seats were up for election) and East Hertfordshire (where all seats were up for election) were equally depressing.
In Letchworth Grange, David Kearns, who has been a Labour councillor for 36 years, lost his seat by 277 votes. Outside the constituency, Judi Billing held her seat with a 595 majority. There were no Labour gains. Full results are on the Council's website: click here.
No Labour councillors were elected to the East Hertfordshire council, which now has no opposition at all. This is a very unhealthy position. Details of the results are here.
9 May 2015
"Every commitment in our manifesto is fully costed and the ways in which they will be funded is clearly set out," says Chris York. "By contrast, the Tories have been panicked into making uncosted promises for measures costing billions of pounds."
Read Labour's fiscally competent manifesto here.
Read the manifesto for East Herts district here.
Read the plans for North Herts here.
13 April 2015
Chris York: Labour's candidate for North East Herts in 2015
Chris York was Labour's parliamentary candidate in 2015. This is the statement about Chris York that was issued after he was selected as the candidate in August 2014.
“I have real life, rather than ‘paper’ experience to back my commitment to the party and the people I would be proud to represent,” says Chris York. “I have been bloodied at the front line in two Tory recessions, living at times hand to mouth. I have the passion and commitment to make things better. The only way to achieve this is to promote, with all my heart, Labour’s principles of equality, fairness and respect for people in all situations and every walk of life.”
Chris comes to North East Hertfordshire with a great deal of experience. He was the Labour candidate for North West Cambridgeshire in the 2010 general election and in 2014 narrowly missed being elected to the Peterborough Unitary Authority. He has campaigned for himself and others in a great many elections at national and local levels. He is pictured above with Labour's East of England champion, Ed Balls.
Chris is currently a member of the East of England Regional Board and has held several posts, such as constituency party and local government committee secretary. He runs his own business as an environmental consultant and is keen to promote renewable energy. He is involved in his local community as the vice-chair of his parish council and a school governor. Also, he is a voluntary youth worker. Such is his commitment to this that he has obtained an NVQ in voluntary youth work.
He is the deputy lead governor on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and is keen to defend the NHS from the creeping marketisation imposed on it by this government. The Foundation Trust deals with mental health, which he says must be an absolute priority in our society. He is currently studying for a City and Guilds qualification in Mental Health.
As a member of the Co-operative Party, he would like to see co-operative solutions to the need for truly affordable houses for local people. He strongly supports the Living Wage campaign and is worried by the present government’s attack on the comprehensive ideal in education and on access to justice through their cuts in legal aid.
“I was absolutely delighted and honoured to have been selected as the candidate to fight for Labour in the 2015 general election in North East Hertfordshire,” says Chris. “There were two other excellent candidates, Philip Ross and Dean Wilson, which meant that this was never going to be a breeze in the park. I look forward to getting stuck into campaigning and making a difference.”
20 August 2014
North Hertfordshire District Council
Some wards in North Hertfordshire had district council elections on the same day as the General Election. The wards with elections which are in this constituency are listed below, together with the Labour candidates. There were also wards in Hitchin & Harpenden constituency with elections.
Only one of these seats was held by Labour (David Kearns in Letchworth Grange) and he lost his seat. None of the other Labour candidates was elected.
You can read a summary of Labour's policies for North Hertfordshire here.
Left to right: David Kearns, Martin Stears-Handscomb, Jean Andrews and Wayne Thornton
Letchworth Grange: David Kearns, who was seeking re-election. He stood as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
Letchworth South East: Martin Stears-Handscomb. He stood as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
Letchworth South West: Jean Andrews.
Baldock Town: Wayne Thornton.
Left to right: Amy Bourke, Ken Garland and Robin Todd
Royston Palace: Amy Bourke.
Royston Heath: Ken Garland.
Royston Meridian: Robin Todd.
There was no Labour candidate in Weston & Sandon.
East Hertfordshire District Council
There were elections in all the wards of the East Hertfordshire District Council.
You can read the Labour manifesto for East Hertfordshire here.
The candidates for the wards in this constituency are listed below. There are other wards in the Hertford & Stortford constituency and one in the Stevenage constituency. No Labour councillors were elected.
Left to right: Claire Bell, Anthony Martin, David Bell
Buntingford: Claire Bell and Tony Martin. Electors each have two votes. Claire Bell was also supported by the Co-operative Party.
Puckeridge: David Bell, who is standing as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
Left to right: Steven Stone, Tom Pattison, David King
Braughing: Steven Stone.
Thundridge & Standon: Tom Pattison.
Hertford Rural South: David King.
Left to right: David Evans, Clyde Millard, Richard Henderson, Alison Galer
Hertford Rural North: David Evans, who stood as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
Watton-at-Stone: Clyde Millard, who stood as a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
The Mundens & Cottered: Richard Henderson.
Walkern: Alison Galer.
There was no Labour candidate in Little Hadham.
Labour vote up by 65%, but still only one seat
The result of the European election was very disappointing in the East of England. Although the Labour vote rose from 167,833 in 2009 to 271,601 (17.25% of the vote) in this election, we still only have one of the seven seats. This was an increase in the share of the votes of 64.9%.
The other six seats were shared equally by the Tories and UKIP, who topped the poll, overtaking the Conservatives, who had topped it in 2009.
So, Richard Howitt (above right) remains the only Labour MEP in the Eastern Region. The Labour vote was not sufficient to put Alex Mayer, who was second on the Labour list, above the third Conservative, who took the last of the seven seats: she was the eighth candidate.
In North Hertfordshire UKIP came second, behind the Tories, with 26.7% of the vote. Labour was third with 18.8%.
It is interesting that, in the council elections, UKIP did less well, coming third, with 18.9% of the vote, compared with Labour's 24%, although they fought all but one of the seats. The figures suggest that quite a large number of voters who voted UKIP in the European election did not trust them to run the council and voted either Tory or Labour for the District Council.
Full details of the results are on the Chelmsford City Council website, since Chelmsford co-ordinated the results for the Region.
26 May 2014
Three Labour wins in Letchworth
Lorna Kercher (above left) and Gary Grindal (above centre) held their seats on North Herts District Council, respectively in Letchworth East and Letchworth Wilbury, and Sandra Lunn (above right) won a seat in Letchworth Grange from the Tories.
Lorna Kercher, who is also the county councillor for Letchworth North West, had a majority of 207 over the Tory candidate. Gary Grindal had a majority of 127 over the Tory and Sandra Lunn's majority was 60, also over the Tory. In all three wards UKIP was third, followed by the Green Party. The Liberal Democrats came last in Grange and did not stand in the other two wards.
The Tories held the other two Letchworth seats, but Labour was second, ahead of UKIP.
In Royston, Rob Inwood unfortunately lost his district council seat, coming second to the Tory candidate, who had a majority of 118. Again, UKIP came third.
Royston Meridian, Royston Heath and Baldock Town were both retained by the Tories. UKIP was second, but was beaten by a large margin.
Elsewhere in North Hertfordshire, Labour retained one seat and won another in Hitchin.
The Labour group on the District Council has thus increased by one.
Labour candidates Les Baker and Rob Inwood were elected to the Royston Town Council.
Full details of the results are on the District Council website.
23 May 2014
Labour candidates in 2014
Elections to the European Parliament took place on 22 May 2014. There were also be elections for one-third of the seats on the North Herts District Council on the same date. The results of the elections are reported above.
The elections to the European Parliament are conducted on a
proportional representation system known as the party list (see
below for more
The candidates on the Labour Party list were as below.
Richard Howitt: Richard has been an MEP for the East of England since 1994. His re-selection for this election was confirmed by every constituency Labour Party in the East of England. As the sitting MEP he is first on the list. There is more information about Richard on the Europe page.
Alex Mayer: Alex has been a Labour Party organizer and trainer, as well as working for a period in Richard Howitt's European office. So she knows about campaigning and about the European Parliament. She is based in South Cambridgeshire. There is more information on her website at www.alexmayer.eu.
Sandy Martin: Sandy is on the Ipswich Borough Council and on the Suffolk County Council. Currently, he leads the Labour Group on the County Council. He held the Fairer and Greener Ipswich portfolio on the borough council until 2013. He was previously a co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth. More information at www.sandymartin4europe.com.
Bhavna Joshi: Bhavna was elected to Wandsworth Borough Council at the age of 24, but now lives - and campaigns - in our neighbouring consituency of Hitchin and Harpenden and chairs her parish council. She is a governor of schools in Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. She works in healthcare.
Paul Bishop: Paul has a long history of activity in the Labour Party in Essex and was a member of the Essex Police Authority for seven years. He has been the director of a national charity and currently works in regeneration and economic development for a local authority.
Jane Basham: Jane has just been chosen by the Regional Selection Panel and the National Executive Committee to fill the vacancy that had arisen in the list. More information later.
Chris Ostrowski: Chris has been an active campaigner in Norfolk for the Labour Party and was a candidate for the European Parliament in our region four years.
Those selected to be candidates for election on 22 May 2014 to the North Herts District Council are listed below. Only wards in the North East Herts parliamentary constituency are shown. There is no election in East Herts.
Letchworth East: Lorna Kercher (sitting councillor): retained seat.
Letchworth Grange: Sandra Lunn: won.
Letchworth South East: Martin Stears-Handscomb
Letchworth South West: Jean Andrews
Letchworth Wilbury: Gary Grindal (sitting councillor): retained seat.
Royston Heath: Ken Garland
Royston Meridian: Amy Bourke
Royston Palace: Rob Inwood (sitting councillor): lost seat.
You can read their key priorities for North Hertfordshire here.
The candidates are pictured below (left to right): Rachel Burgin, Lorna Kercher, Gary Grindal, Rob Inwood, Ken Garland, Amy Bourke, Jean Andrews, Martin Stears-Handscomb and Sandra Lunn.
You need Labour to protect you
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government has imposed disproportionate cuts on local authorities. You cannot rely on their colleagues in County Hall to protect you from these cuts. You need Labour councillors to protect you.
Following the election, there are now 15 Labour councillors, who will be much better able to represent you at council meetings and at all the various committee meetings, which previously had to be covered by just three councillors.
The County Council now has 46 Tory, 16 Liberal Democrat and 15 Labour councillors.
There are seven divisions which are wholly in the constituency
two more that are partly in the constituency. Lorna Kercher (above, right) won
back Letchworth North West as the Labour and Co-operative candidate.
She increased the Labour share of the vote by 14.3 percentage
In Letchworth East and Baldock Rachel Burgin (left) achieved a swing of 12.4 percentage points, taking votes from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. However, this was not enough to take the seat from the Conservatives.
Elsewhere in the
constituency, the swings to Labour varied from 3 percentage points (in
the rural divisions) to 9.8 points in Royston.
The other Labour candidates were:
(left to right)
Letchworth South: David Kearns*
Royston: Les Baker*
North Herts Rural: Ken Garland*
Braughing: Steven Stone
Ware North: David Bell*
Hertford Rural: Jim Brown*
* Labour and Co-operative Party candidates
A small part of the Bishop's Stortford Rural division is in this constituency and the candidate was Darren Neesam.
East Herts District Council by-elections
There were by-elections, also on 2 May 2013, in the East Herts District Council wards of Watton-at-Stone, where the candidate was Steve Buckingham (left), and of Buntingford, where the candidate was Anthony Martin (right).
24 May 2013
Sherma Batson, the Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner, took 40% of the votes, taking into account second preference votes. The Conservative candidate, David Lloyd, had 60% and was elected. The turnout was only 14%.
Sherma topped the poll in Watford and in Stevenage. Although the local authority boundaries do not co-incide with the constiuency boundaries, this is important in relation to the next general election.
The Liberal Democrat and UKIP candidates were eliminated in the first round and their second preference votes added to the the Labour and Conservative candidates' first round totals. However, one third of those who voted Lib. Dem. or UKIP did not express a second preference (or voted for each other). This may be the result of unfamiliarity with supplementary vote system, which is outlined on the election page.
Outsourcing to G4S
We know that David Lloyd was keen to outsource police administration to G4S when he was chair of the Police Authority. However, we may be saved from this because the plan was to join forces with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire and the Labour and Co-operative candidate was elected in Bedfordshire. Congratulations to Olly Martins, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, who is opposed to privatisation of police activities to G4S.
Letchworth S.E. By-election
The Conservatives held this seat on North Herts District Council, with 51% of the vote over Martin Stears-Handscomb's 27%. This was a small drop in the percentage for Labour compared with May 2012, but larger increase for the Conservatives, who had 39% in May. They appear to have picked up votes from both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats. The turnout here was 26.5%.
Labour on its way back in North Herts
Labour and Co-operative candidates won three additional seats in Letchworth in the elections on 3 May 2012. Across the border in Hitchin, two seats were retained by Labour and Co-operative candidates, and we missed another seat by only three votes.
The new councillors are:
East: Ian Mantle
Ian was a councillor for Letchworth Wilbury but lost his seat in 2008.
Read Ian Mantle's personal statement here.
Letchworth Grange: Clare Billing
Clare joins her father and step-mother on the Council. Her father, David, is Leader of the Labour and Co-operative group.
Read Clare Billing's personal statement here.
Letchworth Wilbury: Deepak Sangha
Deepak was councillor for Hitchin Bearton until this election, but he has now moved to Letchworth and decided to stand for a Letchworth seat. His old seat was retained by Deborah Segalini for Labour.
Read Deepak Sangha's personal statement here.
The Tories took Baldock Town from the Liberal Democrats and retained the other three seats that were up for election.
There was no election in East Hertfordshire.
14 May 2012
There were elections for North Herts District Council and for East Herts District Council, as well as elections for town and parish councils, on Thursday, 5 May 2011.
North Herts District Council
There were 10 seats up for election within the constituency. With the exception of the Ermine ward, there was a Labour candidate in all of them. In all, 3,946 voters, over one in five, voted Labour, ahead of the Liberal Democrats on 3,047.
Cllr. David Kearns (above right) successfully defended his seat in Letchworth Grange ward. You can read his personal statement here. The other wards in which there were elections were not previously held by Labour.
The full results are on the North Herts District Council website.
East Herts District Council
In East Herts elections take place every four years and all council seats were up for election this year.
The Tory administration in East Herts has an unenviable reputation for wasting public money and for paying its councillors high allowances. For the last few years there have been no Labour councillors to challenge them.
Unfortunately, this has not changed. Although Labour improved its showing compared with 2007, there remain no Labour councillors on the District Council. In fact, the situation on the council has got worse, because the Tories gained three seats from the Liberal Democrats and two from Independents. This leaves an "opposition" to the 46 Tories of only two Liberal Democrats and two Independents.
Ten of the wards, with 11 seats, are in this constituency. There was a Labour candidate in all of them. 2,011 voters voted Labour, 19% of the total. There were no Liberal Democrat candidates, except in Little Hadham. All the other wards were a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives, except Buntingford, with two independent candidates, and Walkern, with one independent. The list of Labour candidates is here.
You can read Labour's manifesto for East Herts here.
Note: the manifesto quotes a figure of 35% for household waste recycling in East Herts. This figure was the latest available on the DEFRA website at the time when the manifesto was written. The more recent figure now shown (May 2011) is 41%. East Herts has progressed more quickly than some authorities, but it remains some way behind the best, who recycle over half as much more.
The full election results are on the East Herts District Council website.
Referendum on voting system
Also on 5 May 2011, there was a referendum on whether or not to adopt the alternative vote system instead of the present first-past-the-post system. The Labour Party was not registered to campaign on the referendum and this website did not contain or reference any campaigning material.
"We fought a good campaign in North East Hertfordshire," says David Kirkman. "I was selected as the candidate only in autumn 2009, and I did not have enough time to do all that I would have wished. I enjoyed working with the Labour Party in North East Hertfordshire. We co-ordinated my campaign with the local election campaign. So, it was gratifying that our two sitting councillors, who were up for re-election in Letchworth Garden City, retained their seats."
Parliamentary candidate for 2010, David Kirkman (left), with the Constituency Chair, Clyde Millard
"We had a number of problems to contend with," said Clyde Millard, who chairs the constituency Labour Party. "Our previous candidate resigned because of a conflict of interest with his role at the Primary Care Trust. So, David Kirkman was selected very late. In addition, boundary changes added new areas to the constituency which are likely to have increased the Tory vote.
"Nevertheless, it was disappointing to be pushed into third place behind the Liberal Democrats. The "Clegg bubble" may not have had the expected effect in the country as a whole, but it seems to have made a difference in Hertfordshire, where the Liberal Democrats did well even in seats previously held by Labour. But I have no doubt that this bubble will burst quite soon."
The voters of North East Hertfordshire - or rather the 70% of them who voted - have spoken and the result was:
Oliver Heald (Conservative)
Hugh Annand (Liberal Democrat) 11801 (23.4%)
David Kirkman (Labour) 8291 (16.4%)
Adrianne Smyth (UKIP) 2075 (4.1%)
Rosemary Bland (Green) 875 (1.7%)
There were three other candidates who between them polled 388 votes (0.8%).
This is the first time since the formation of the constituency that the Conservatives have had an overall majority of the vote, having increased their share of the vote by 6.3 percentage points.
North Herts District Council Elections 2010
Two of our three existing councillors were up for re-election
on 6 May 2010:
in Letchworth East and Gary Grindal in Letchworth Wilbury. Both
retained their seats. In Letchworth
Grange, David Kearns is already a
councillor and was not up for re-election on this
occasion. Labour's main policies for North Hertfordshire are set out here.
Lorna Kercher's election statement can be viewed here.
You can read Gary Grindal's election statement here.
For contact details of the three Labour councillors, go to the Councillors webpage.
For full details of all the elections for the North Hertfordshire District Council, click here go to the District Council's website.
Elections for the European Parliament and for the County
Council took place on 4 June 2009.
Before the election, Nigel Agar represented Letchworth North West on the County Council. Unfortunately, this seat was lost . Full results of the election for Hertfordshire County Council can be seen on the HertsDirect website. Although the seat was taken by the Conservatives, their vote only increased by 2.9 percentage points. Labour and the Liberal Democrats lost votes to the Green Party, the English Democrats and the British National Party.
The result of the European election for the Eastern Region was that, as before, three Conservatives, two UKIP, one Liberal Democrat and one Labour were elected as MEPs. So, Richard Howitt continues as our MEP. Labour's vote was down by 5.8 percentage points. However, the Conservatives (+0.4), UKIP (no change) and the Liberal Democrats (-0.2) failed to make a significant gains. Labour's lost vote went principally to the Green Party, whose vote increased by 3.2 percentage points, the rest going to the nine other parties and a single independent who stood.
After the election, Richard Howitt said that the European
had been hi-jacked by the furore over expenses of national MPs and
expressed his anger at the disunity of the Party at Westminster. It is
particularly ironic, because the Labour MEPs all have their expenses
audited externally to show that they comply not only with the European
Parliament's rules, but also with the stricter rules of the European
Labour Party. Richard Howitt was rated number one for transparency by
Anglian Daily Times. Two of the Conservative MEPs
and both of the UKIP-elected MEPs refused to give the paper any details
of their expenses.