Mayor: We could topple Claire

The Liberal Democrats continue to dominate the makeup of Watford Borough Council, winning nine out of the 12 seats contested in this week's local elections.

Among the other parties, Steve Rackett retained Callowland ward for the Green Party, Nigel Bell of Labour won Holywell from the Lib Dems and Amanda Grimston is the new Conservative councillor for Leggatts.

The result in Leggatts was so close that there were three recounts before Ms Grimston was declared the winner at the count in The Colosseum by just two votes from the Lib Dems - 515 to 513.

It was looking like a dismal day for the Tories until the Leggatts result came in but Ms Grimston's win put the smiles back on the faces of those with a blue rosette on.

"It's just an absolutely brilliant feeling," Ms Grimston said, minutes after she was elected. "It was very close but our hard work has paid off. But we still have to save the Bill Everett Centre."

Liberal Democrat elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill and Watford's Labour MP Claire Ward were both at the count.

"It's good to be close," she said. "There are no surprises today. We are quite pleased."

Ms Thornhill added that with the Lib Dems winning Oxhey Hall, part of Three Rivers District Council but within the Watford constituency at the General Election, the signs looked good for the Lib Dems to topple Claire Ward.

"The real prize for us is the parliamentary seat. And it's game on!"

However Ms Ward hit back at the Mayor's comments. She said the result of the last General Election, in which Ms Ward held her seat for Labour despite the council being run by Lib Dems, disproved the Mayor's theory.Ms Ward said: "There is no correlation, it's completely untrue."Ms Ward said she was delighted Labour had regained a seat at Watford although she admitted Labour had suffered losses nationally."But I think that is inevitable when you have been in power for ten years.""

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