Hertfordshire County Council

Boundary changes have occurred here. 2013 seats are an estimate of what the result would have been then if the new boundaries had been in place.

Election 2017 Results

CON HOLD
Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change

PartyConservative

Seats 201348 Seats 201751 Change+3

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 201316 Seats 201718 Change+2

PartyLabour

Seats 201314 Seats 20179 Change−5
Change compared with

Latest Updates

'Play your part in stamping out the virus'

Ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions this weekend, a director of public health said everyone still needs to "play their part in stamping out the virus".

Jim McManus, who works for Hertfordshire County Council, said of the new "one metre plus" that "we must all maintain social distancing, wash our hands regularly and thoroughly and follow the rules and guidance on face coverings".

"If you have any symptoms that could indicate you have coronavirus, it’s vitally important that you get a test," he said.

“Remember too that if you’re contacted by the national NHS Test and Trace team, you must follow their advice and self-isolate, to prevent the virus from taking hold in Hertfordshire again and threatening more lives.”

Coronavirus testing station
NHS

Tests can be booked online and drive-through testing sites are now open to everyone living or working in the county and for those that do not have access to a car or are too ill to drive, a test kit can be posted to them.

Youngsters asked to share Covid-19 experiences

Young people are being asked how lockdown has affected their wellbeing by filling in surveys.

young person completing a survey
Hertfordshire County Council

Organised by the county council's youth service, YC HertfordshireServices for Young People, its survey aims to build a picture of how young people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and what their biggest concerns are.

The results will then be used to help shape support and services available to young people over the coming months.

It comes as a similar survey was unveiled by East Suffolk Council.

Covid testing moved from Watford as travellers set up camp

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

A drive-through coronavirus testing site has been moved from Watford to Hemel Hempstead after travellers set up a camp in a car park on Wednesday evening.

Watford Leisure Centre travellers
South Beds News Agency

The testing centre at Watford Leisure Centre had been open on Thursdays and Sundays.

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said people with a test booked are being redirected to a temporary base at Apsley.

A CCG statement said: "A group of travellers arrived on the site that was designated for the mobile testing unit.

"This means that we have had to change arrangements."

The new address is at the Hertfordshire County Council offices, Aspley Campus, Brindley Way, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9BF.

Watford Borough Council said it has started legal proceedings to move the travellers on.

Watford Leisure Centre travellers
South Beds News Agency
Watford Leisure Centre travellers
South Beds News Agency

Schools see 'great variability' in number of pupils returning

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Schools across Hertfordshire are seeing a "great deal of variability" in the numbers of children who have returned to the classroom this week, councillors heard.

On Monday, children in reception, year one and year six were allowed to rejoin children of key workers.

At the council’s special cabinet panel, Labour group leader Judi Billing said one school in Hitchin had welcomed back 90% of eligible pupils, but another school had seen less then a third come back.

The county council said it did not yet have full data on the number of children who returned this week.

Operations director, Simon Newland, said there was "a great deal of variability between schools", but the council was waiting for further information from the Department for Education.

Councillor Terry Douris, who is responsible for education at the Conservative-run local authority, praised school staff for their commitment and preparations, and hoped that at some stage parents who decided not to send their children back may reconsider.

New guidance on face coverings explained by council

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Hertfordshire County Council has issued reminders about government advice on face coverings for indoors or in confined spaces where social distancing may not always be possible.

Covering the mouth, nose and lower face will not necessarily protect people from Covid-19, the guidance says.

But if someone has the virus without no symptoms, then a covering such as a scarf, bandana or similar, can help protect others.

Masks
Herts CC

Professor Jim McManus, director of public health at the county council, said: "Face coverings do not replace social distancing, good hand washing and hygiene (coughing and sneezing into a tissue, disposing of tissues immediately and washing hands), as these are the most important and effective measures that we can all adopt.

"Wearing a face covering is not an alternative to any of these precautions.

"We are urging people not to buy the surgical face masks or respirators worn by front-line workers in health and care settings because these are prioritised for those who are working in environments where the risk is greatest."

County councillors may 'opt-out' of meetings over Covid-19

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hertfordshire county councillors will be allowed to opt out of meetings if they are affected by Covid-19.

Hertfordshire county hall
Google

Currently any member who fails to attend meetings of the council or its committees for a period of six months ceases to be a councillor – unless their absence is due to an approved reason.

There had been concerns some councillors may not be able – or feel able – to attend some meetings, but it's now been agreed that Covid-19 is an acceptable reason for absence for the next year.

It means that any councillor who has the illness, is in self-isolation or has concerns they may contract the virus will now be able to opt out of meetings, without the risk of losing their seat.

At May's annual council meeting, Conservative leader David Williams said the use of video-conferencing does mitigate the issue but it was still "appropriate" to have arrangements that meant Covid-19 was a valid reason.

Road closure marks start of plans to reopen Watford

Access to the High Street in Watford is being closed from Water Lane - by the blue pyramid - in order to prepare for a "safe, phased reopening" of the town centre, the borough council has said.

Watford High Street
Google

The authority said Hertfordshire County Council was closing the road from tomorrow with no access to the lower part of the High Street through to Kings Street for vehicles except for buses, delivery vehicles, taxis and blue badge holders.

It's to allow visitors, and those who work in the town centre, to move around safely, queue if needed and maintain social distancing.

The town's elected mayor, Peter Taylor, said: "Watford town centre is such an important part of our town and we know people will be looking forward to seeing it come to life again.

"However, it is critical we put everyone’s safety first and making sure people have enough shared space is vital... but we must remember staying at home is still the best way to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus."

Herts care homes to receive £13m of government money

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Care homes in Hertfordshire are to receive £13m of a £600m government funding package to control the spread of coronavirus.

Care home
Getty Images

The latest figures – reported to the county council’s cabinet - show there have been 206 Covid-19 deaths in the county's care homes – which doesn’t include care home residents who died in hospital.

Each home will receive the equivalent of £1,000 per bed – to be paid in two installments, the first £500 immediately and the second after the first clean of the care home – to show that some infection control has taken place.

Richard Roberts, councillor with responsibility for adult care and health, said: "I think this is a very positive input of cash into the care system – and specifically around cleanliness.”

He said the number of deaths in care homes in the county appeared to have "dropped right down" in the past week or so, but stressed that there was still a need to be vigilant.

Plans for school reopening issued to Hertfordshire heads

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Primary school children
Getty Images

A Hertfordshire county councillor has said dividing up playgrounds and restricting class sizes are among the measures schools will be expected to consider before opening up to more pupils.

At a cabinet meeting, the executive member for education, Terry Douris, backed the government’s plans for some children to return on 1 June if certain tests were met and assured councillors the welfare of pupils and staff was "absolutely paramount".

He said with leaving the house already becoming a "real challenge" for some children – it was right they returned to school.

He also said comprehensive guidance had been drawn-up for head teachers to help them divide playgrounds and ensure social distancing in classrooms.

"We can’t keep children locked up out of school forever," he said.

"It would be entirely wrong."

Closed care homes to re-open

Two care homes that closed are temporarily re-opening to look after patients who have been discharged from hospital, but are not ready to go home and look after themselves.

Hertfordshire County Council said The Fairways in Watford is now open and it will be joined by Nevetts in Buntingford in June.

They will each have 40 beds and be staffed by redeployed or returning council employees and new recruits.

Councillor Jack Jones and volunteers at Nevetts care home
Hertfordshire County Council

Richard Roberts, cabinet member for adult care and health, said: "To get the homes ready for use in such a short space of time, at such an excellent standard is a credit to the team involved."