FULL RESULTS: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council local elections 2022
- Credit: Archant
The Mayor and a party leader were casualties of the vote after residents from across Welwyn and Hatfield flocked to the polls on Thursday to have their say in the borough council elections.
Labour leader Kieran Thorpe lost his seat in Hatfield South West to Liberal Democrat Tim Rowse, and Conservative Mayor Peter Hebden was ousted in Hatfield East by Labour's Larry Crofton. Labour's James Broach took Hatfield Villages from the Conservatives.
Results were declared in 16 wards: 15 wards had one seat filled, and one ward had two seats filled which includes a casual vacancy in Handside ward following the resignation of Anthony Dennis.
Of the 17 seats up for election, there were previously six Conservative seats, five Labour seats, five Liberal Democrat seats and one Independent seat.
There was no change in the majority of wards: the Liberal Democrats held Panshanger, Sherrads, Handside (both seats), Welham Green & Hatfield South and Peartree; the Conservatives maintained control of Northaw & Cuffley and Brookmans Park; meanwhile Labour kept its grip on Howlands, Haldens, Hatfield Central and Hollybush.
The balance of power following the election has the Conservatives on 26 seats, Labour on 10 and the Liberal Democrats on 12.
Tory group leader Cllr Tony Kingsbury said: "I am understandably disappointed to lose two seats, reducing our majority, but these things happen in politics as situations change both locally and nationally. A year ago we were a minority administration and had very successful elections winning most seats. I am sure we will gain seats in future.
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"It’s a shame that some very impressive candidates weren’t elected to serve residents and that we lost a hard-working councillor. The team couldn’t have worked harder through the campaign, and our councillors throughout the year and I thank them.
"I look forward to the coming year in which this Conservative led council can continue to do our best for our residents and the borough."
Kieran Thorpe said: "Compared to last year these are terrific results with the first gains for Labour in Welwyn Hatfield in far too long. We are thrilled to welcome new and returning Labour councillors while retaining several others.
"Personally I am sad to have lost in my area, but after 13 years I always said I would only keep doing it for as long as residents wanted me to, and I accept their decision. I look back on my time with immense pride in knowing I did everything I could to help people, and show them what a different Welwyn Hatfield could look like, if they only went out and voted for it.
"I look forward to spending time with my very neglected family, friends and dogs but with elections seemingly taking place every five minutes who knows what the future holds!"
The overall turnout in the borough council elections was 35.2 per cent.
Ka Ng, chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everybody involved in the efficient running of the election and the count, especially our Elections team. I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new borough councillors.”