The Liberal Democrats have retained control of Three Rivers Council after winning a by-election which was held following the death of a former council leader.

Phil Williams was elected as the new councillor for the Chorleywood South and Maple Cross ward yesterday, after the Lib Dems gained 63.7 per cent of votes.

The party stormed ahead of the Conservatives, who received 26.6 per cent and also Labour, who only gained 7.2 per cent.

UKIP and Green Party both got 1.2 per cent of votes.

Cllr Williams said: "I'm honoured at how many residents put their trust in mr in Thursday's election.

"Cllr Ann Shaw is an almost impossible act to follow, but I promise to listen to the views of all residents of Chorleywood South, Maple Cross, Heronsgate and West Hyde, and to work hard on their behalf".

The by-election was triggered after former Lib Dem leader Ann Shaw died at Michael Sobell Hospice in Northwood on Wednesday May 17 after a short battle with illness.

She had been a councillor for more than three decades and had representing people at Rickmansworth Urban District Council before it became Three Rivers District Council in 1974.

Cllr Shaw was replaced as council leader by Sara Bedford last year, but said stepping down would not mean a reduction in her commitment but instead enable her to spend more time “working to sort out some local problems and issues”.

Leader of the council Sara Bedford said: "This is a huge vote of support in the way the Liberal Democrats are running Three Rivers, and in Phil himself as a local campaigner in the area.

"Our local councillors have worked hard, listening to residents and working on their behalf, and this is shown in the result."