Hatfield Town Council hopefuls wrangle ahead of by-election

PUBLISHED: 17:32 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:41 24 November 2017

Hatfield Town Council hopefuls (L-R): Lib Dem Jackie Brennan, Labour's Oliver Price, Tory Kerstin Holman.

Hatfield Town Council hopefuls (L-R): Lib Dem Jackie Brennan, Labour's Oliver Price, Tory Kerstin Holman.

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Hatfield Town Council's candidates for the upcoming by-election have laid into each other ahead of this week's poll.

The East Ward vote will take place on Thursday after Independent councillor Caron Juggins was deselected earlier this year.

Labour’s nominee, Oliver Price, claimed the local authority’s Conservative members collectively attended just 39 per cent of meetings since May this year.

The astrophysics graduate said: “It’s outrageous that after the public put their faith in them, they can’t find the time to do the job they were elected for.

“They’re supposed to be an opposition but how do they even know what’s going on if they don’t turn up?

“We all know that people have things going on in their lives, but it’s hardly rocket science to realise how important it is to turn up to meetings, especially as we’re having a by-election in Hatfield soon because of this very issue.”

But leader of the opposition, Tory councillor Frank Bowron, branded the claim “grossly inaccurate”, adding that the actual figure is 56 per cent.

By contrast, he claimed, overall Labour attendance was 73 per cent, which “given their overwhelming superiority on the committees sets the bar quite low”.

There are currently nine Labour members, four Conservatives and one Independent.

The Tory candidate Kerstin Holman, who is also a borough councillor, added: “At every full council meeting Conservative councillors have represented their Hatfield constituents fully.

“I have always held an exemplary attendance record at borough council. I look forward to carrying this across to town council as I stop Labour’s reckless spending programmes and look to regenerate Hatfield town centre.”

However, Liberal Democrat candidate Jackie Brennan said that councillors should focus on working together rather than getting embroiled in “petty squabbles”.

“As a long time local resident and Liberal Democratic Party supporter I feel that the role of a local councillor is to be the eyes and ears of the local community,” she told the WHT.

“All parties and councillors need to work together for the benefit of the community and not get involved in petty squabbles.

“All local issues need to be dealt with either directly or by reporting them to the relevant authority.

“The success of a council is not who does what but that the job gets done.”

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