Banner headline: NE Herts Labour Party

Police and Crime Commissioner

The coalition government replaced local police authorities with directly elected police and crime commissioners. This politicisation of the police was opposed by Labour. Nevertheless, when it happened it was necessary to campaign for a Labour commissioner.

The first election took place in November 2012, when the Tory candidate was elected with 60% of the votes, with Labour second with 40%, using the supplementary vote system (see below).

Elections now take place at the same time as other elections and the current commissioner was elected in May 2016 and has a four year term. Again, he was elected with 60% of the votes, with the Labour candidate second on 40%. Thereafter, elections are at four year intervals.

Supplementary vote system

The police and crime commissioner is elected by the supplementary vote system. Voters make a first and second choice. If a candidate has more than 50% of the first choices, he or she is elected. If not, all except the top two candidates are eliminated. The second choice votes of everyone whose first choice was not for one of the top two candidates are then counted. Any votes for the top two candidates are added to the first-round totals of those candidates. Whichever candidate has the greater number of votes after this process is the winner.

Local Government Structure

Hertfordshire has a tiered local government system - the County Council and local District or Borough Councils. There are also either town or parish councils covering most of the area of each District Council.

Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire County Council is controlled by the Conservatives, who regained power in 1999 from a Labour-led alliance with the Liberal Democrats. The 2013 election increased Labour representation on the council from two to 15, but this was reduced to nine in 2017. In the North East Hertfordshire constituency, we have no county councillors, having lost Letchworth North by a narrow margin in 2017. The number of Labour councillors increased to ten as a result of a by-election in 2018.

There is a Hertfordshire County Labour Party local government committee, to which representatives are sent from all the constituency parties in the county. This committee organizes the selection of candidates for the County Council election which is held every four years. The next election will be in May 2021.

Labour group spokespersons are listed on the Councillors webpage.

North Hertfordshire District Council

Most of the constituency is in the area of the North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC). The Letchworth Town, Baldock and District and Royston and District branches are all in the NHDC area.

No party has overall control, following Labour and Liberal Democrat gains in 2019. There is now a joint Labour & Co-operative and Liberal Democrat administration, with Martin Stears-Handscomb (Labour & Co-operative) as Leader of the Council. For details of the responsibilities of the Cabinet Members, go to the Councillors page.

There are 16 Labour and Co-operative councillors, eight representing wards within the constituency - Letchworth Wilbury (2), Letchworth Grange (2), Letchworth East (2) and Letchworth South East (2) - and eight other Labour and Co-operative councillors from wards outside the constituency. For contact details of our eight councillors, click on Councillors.

There is a North Hertfordshire District Labour Party local government committee, with representatives from the two constituency parties in the North Herts district.

Elections in North Hertfordshire are on a rolling basis, with elections every year, except the year of the County Council elections. Normally, one-third of the councillors are up for election each time.

East Hertfordshire District Council

The wards covered by the East Hertfordshire Rural branch are in the area of the East Hertfordshire District Council.

The council is Tory controlled. Until 2003, the number of Labour councillors on the council since its formation had varied between none and eight. After a period in which there were no opposition councillors at all, in 2019 Labour won back the two seats in Hertford Sele. The Liberal Democrats won six seats in the same election and, for the first time, the Green Party took two seats.

Of the 11 seats in this constituency, ten are held by the Tories and one by a Liberal Democrat.

There is an East Hertfordshire District Labour Party local government committee, with representatives from all the branches in East Hertfordshire.

There are elections every four years for all the seats on the council. The next election is in May 2023.

Labour's red roseHosted by Ltd., Units H, J, K, Gateway 1000, Whittle Way, Stevenage, Herts. SG1 2FP. Promoted by David Bell, on behalf of the North East Hertfordshire Constituency Labour Party, both of Town Farm House, Mill End, Standon, Ware SG11 1LP