Dorothy Thornhill will not stand for re-election as Mayor of Watford in 2018, despite the "bitter disappointment" of not becoming MP.

Mrs Thornhill said she has "dusted herself down" following May 7’s General Election, which saw the Liberal Democrat candidate finish third, and is now fully focused on delivering big projects for Watford.

But she has ruled out a fourth term in the Mayor’s Office and believes it will be time to step aside for fresh blood in three years.

She said: "I genuinely believe I could play a positive role at a national level, building on my knowledge and experience of being Mayor and I’d done work during the collation that made me think there was a job there - so I am bitterly disappointed not to be able to do that.

"To represent Watford at a national level would have been the cherry on the cake. So what’s the future? I don’t know.

"As I sit here now, I know I’m not going to stand again in 2018. It’s time for new people to emerge, that’s a good thing, but I’m going to reflect and think about what opportunities are around for me."

"But I’ve still got three years as Mayor and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it because it’s a job I love, while there were better people than me who lost their council seat earlier this month and don’t know how they’re going to pay their mortgage."

Labour and the Conservatives made gains on Watford Borough Council, with the Lib Dems now holding a slender majority of one.

Mayor Thornhill congratulated her political rivals but believes that once the dust settles, voters will return to the Lib Dems next year.

She said: "It’s an important election next year. I think things will have calmed down, people will look at the service they get and I think it will be different. This election was an aberration."

Mayor Thornhill has set her sights on progressing the proposed redevelopment of Charter Place and revealed West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust has asked to see the borough council over its future plans.

She said: "I think there will be a consultation in the summer and I think we’ll know what the trust will be consulting on pretty soon."

Watford Business Park is "underperforming" and is another project Mayor Thornhill said she wants to address before 2018.

She said: "We’ve got to look at the Business Park, it’s a big asset that is underperforming for the tax payer at the moment.

"It’s not the sexiest project but it’s essential. My aim is to make sure Watford is self-sufficient - that’s a big ask but we can do it.

"One thing that goes unsung is the way we’ve managed the finances - we can do big events for free. We are good at what we do."