Local elections 2019: North Herts political parties on why you should vote for them
PUBLISHED: 14:29 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:45 25 April 2019
Local elections will be upon us again next week - ahead of the vote, we heard from the political party leaders in North Herts.
North Herts District Council – which is currently controlled by the Conservatives – has 49 seats, with just over a third up for election on May 2.
Council leader Lynda Needham told this paper: “The Conservatives are not intending to move the council onto a different path from that of past years and intend to continue the good quality services to our residents at a sensible cost and to protect the district from the very significant development issues in and surrounding the area such as the expansion of Luton Airport, the Oxford Cambridge Arc and development within South Cambridgeshire and Central Bedfordshire.
“Because of our sound financial management we are in a position to maintain the level of good services to our residents as at present, which includes no increase in parking charges for 2019/20, and continuing to specifically support local groups such as CAB, Minority Ethnic Forum, Age UK Hertfordshire and provide extra budget provision to enable the council to help our young and vulnerable residents.
“Our first five-year Climate Change Strategy had just ended and we are now drafting our second five-year Climate Change Strategy, with emphasise on further use of electric car recharging points, further reduction in the use of plastics and even greater recycling rates, where we are a leading district in the UK.
“Additionally reducing even further the carbon footprint of many of our buildings. These are the actions and services we are determined to continue to provide to our residents.”
North Herts and Stevenage Green Party co-chair Tim Lee said: “Greens have been making gains councils across the country and are poised to make more in the local elections in May.
“A Green councillor would press for action on the unacceptably high levels of air pollution in our towns. North Herts is a rural district and the lack of public transport to our villages mean people are forced into cars or have a curfew imposed on them.
“We would improve recycling services and encourage businesses to generate less waste. We would clamp down on fly-tipping and littering by providing better services for disposing of waste.
“A single Green councillor can make a huge difference. The Green Party offers a unique plan to reinvigorate local government at its time of greatest challenge – to unleash new thinking and community power to make local lives and places better.
“When Greens get elected our communities benefit from real change. Electing one more Labour or Conservative councillor doesn't make a difference – Green changes everything. There are plenty of councils with one or two Greens where we've been able to bring in policies to preserve our green spaces and support the provision of local services.”
NHDC Labour group leader Martin Stears-Handscomb said: “Your local Labour councillors will lead NHDC with a new energy and enthusiasm – listening and consulting with residents.
“We understand that during these times of unprecedented cuts, we have to do far more than look for the next budget to slash or playground to rip out. For example – we'll find practical ways to let children reclaim their green spaces through gardening and bee nurturing projects.
“We'll have the courage to commit to local action on climate change. We'll work with local community groups to encourage ethical businesses to thrive in our town centres and a growing economy, reducing plastic waste, creating jobs and growth in our towns.
“We'll take parking enforcement and cycle routes seriously – to protect our paths and verges, while improving air quality.
“We will invest in our towns and villages, to responsibly generate income and ensure value for money in our essential services like waste collection and recycling – not contracts simply put out to the lowest bidder without thought to the detriment of residents.
“The people of North Herts deserve energetic, responsive leadership – they deserve a Labour-led council. Local government matters – use your vote on May 2 to vote Labour.”
Last year's election saw the number of Liberal Democrat councillors double after Knebworth, Hitchin Highbury and Royston Heath wards opted for the party.
Councillor Paul Clark, leader of the North Herts' Lib Dems, said: “Over the last few years the Conservatives have presided over a string of spectacular failures – from the five-year fiasco of Hitchin Town Hall, to last summer's debacle of the bins.
“They have introduced a brown bin tax in the face of local opposition and ignored many objections to their Local Plan to build too many houses in the Green Belt.
“Their once large majority on the council is already much reduced and this May's elections are a real opportunity for the council to improve.
“In the new council Liberal Democrat councillors will work to provide a competent council that delivers for local people, working with rather them than against them.
“We will work for a greener North Herts with improved recycling, more facilities for electric cars and action to tackle poor air quality.
“We will take steps to make housing more affordable using borrowing powers to build council houses for rent. We will establish a culture to encourage start-up businesses and enterprise by consulting businesses on their priorities and encouraging diversity in town centres.
“Supporting Liberal Democrat candidates in these elections gives local people a real opportunity to change North Herts for the better.”
This paper approached UKIP for comment, but did not receive a response.
The list of the 2019 North Herts local election candidates in full, is as follows:
• Tim Lee (Green)
• Chris Schwick (Conservative)
• Tom Tyson (Lib Dem)
• Colwyn Luke Griffiths (Labour)
• Rob Lambie (Lib Dem)
• Michael Douglas Robert Mackenzie Muir (Conservative)
• George Woolhouse (Green)
• David Leon De Smet (Labour)
• Michael Frank Goddard (Conservative)
• Rosamund Brigid McGuire (Green)
• Sam North (Lib Dem)
• George Edmund Rhys Davies (Conservative)
• Mary Karin Marshall (Green)
• Yusuf Liam Mayet (Labour)
• Suzie Anderton (Lib Dem)
• Mark Alister Gamon (Green)
• Robin Anthony King (Labour)
• Gerald Edward Morris (Conservative)
• Judi Billing (Labour)
• Jonathan Clayden (Lib Dem)
• Gulshan Deep Singh Mangat (Conservative)
• Anni Elke Sander (Green)
• Leon Emirali (Conservative)
• Angela Jean Griggs (Labour)
• Keith Hoskins (Lib Dem)
• Diana Joyce Newson (Green)
• Ying Han (Lib Dem)
• William Lavin (Green)
• Mark David Russell (Conservative)
• Kay Frances Tart (Labour)
Hitchwood, Offa & Hoo:
• David John Barnard (Conservative)
• Nicky Clark (Green)
• Anton Jungreuthmayer (Labour)
• Marilyn Margaret Parkin (Lib Dem)
• Steven Adelantado (UKIP)
• Conor Brogan (Labour)
• Sarah Elizabeth Cope (Green)
• Morgan William Derbyshire (Conservative)
• Josh Hamilton (Lib Dem)
Letchworth South East:
• Andrew Malcom Clare (Conservative)
• Adem Irfan Ruggiero-Cakir (Labour)
• Sidney Arthur Start (UKIP)
Letchworth South West:
• Jean Andrews (Labour)
• Wendy Gross (UKIP)
• Lynda Ann Needham (Conservative)
• Nicholas Mark Newson (Green)
• Sean Prendergast (Lib Dem)
• Amy Jane Bourke-Waite (Labour)
• Sarah Anne Dingley (Conservative)
• Katherine Marie Shann (Green)
• Carol Ann Stanier (Lib Dem)
• Christopher Laurence Arquati (UKIP)
• Karen Julie Harmel (Green)
• Tony Hunter (Conservative)
• Stephen James Lockett (Labour)
• Peter Martin Rice (Lib Dem)
• Angela Clark (Green)
• Amy Chesterton Di Capite (Lib Dem)
• Jean Margaret Green (Conservative)
• Rob Inwood (Labour)
Weston and Sandon:
• Michael Steven Frederick Storm Hearn (Conservative)
• Steve Jarvis (Lib Dem)
• Headley Valentine Parkins (Labour)
• Des Stephens (Green)