Six wards in Ross-on-Wye and southeast Herefordshire are being contested in council elections on May 4. Here is our guide to each. Incumbent councillors are in bold.

Ross North

  • BARTRUM, Chris (Liberal Democrats)
  • COKER, Valerie Elizabeth Anne (The Conservative Party Candidate)
  • HODGES, Melvin Brian (Labour Party)
  • LISTER, Daniel William Edward (Independent)

Like other Herefordshire market towns, Ross-on-Wye changed in 2015 to having single councillors representing different areas.

In 2019, Chris Bartrum took three-quarters of the vote in what was previously a narrowly held Conservative ward, also defeating his current Labour opponent Melvin Hodges.


Former town mayor Danny Lister is meanwhile standing for Independents for Herefordshire in both the county ward and the same town council ward, as is Valerie Coker for the Conservatives.

Ross East

  • BOYLAN, Milly (Independent)
  • FIELDING, Adam Martin Andrew (no affiliation)
  • O'DRISCOLL, Ed (Liberal Democrats)
  • RICHMOND, Nick (Labour Party)
  • WALSH, Becky (The Conservative Party Candidate)

With Independents for Herefordshire councillor Paul Symonds, elected in 2019 as a LibDem, choosing not to re-stand, town councillor Milly Boylan will be seeking to hold this for i4H.

She will face a strong challenge from the town’s current mayor Ed O’Driscoll, who is one of five LibDems already elected unopposed to the same town council ward. The Conservatives will also remember previously holding this ward.

Ross West

  • GIBBS, Nigel Thomas (The Conservative Party Candidate)
  • PHILPOTT, Edward Victor James (The Labour Party)
  • STARK, Louis (Liberal Democrats)
  • TAYLOR, Rob (Independent)

Like the other two Ross wards, this passed from Tory to LibDem control in the last election.

Standing also for the contested town council ward is Independents for Herefordshire candidate Rob Taylor, the town’s tree officer, while Nigel Gibbs is also a former town mayor.


  • SETCHFIELD, Michelle (Liberal Democrats)
  • SWINGLEHURST, Elissa Jane (The Conservative Party)

This rural ward has been Conservative since its creation in 2003, and is one of only three wards in the county to be contested by just two candidates this time.

This will pit Coun Swinglehurst, widely respected for her work chairing the River Wye Nutrient Management Board, against Ross town councillor Michelle Setchfield, who continues in this role after being returned unopposed.

Kerne Bridge

  • COLE, Simeon Wood (The Conservative Party Candidate)
  • FOWLER, Katie Lousie (no affiliation given)
  • FREER, Sarah Caroline (Liberal Democrats)
  • TERRY, Andrew Julian (Independent)

A vacancy has arisen in the county’s southernmost ward following the late decision by Independents for Herefordshire councillor Yolande Watson not to stand again.

I4H’s successor candidate is Katie Fowler, also contesting Ross West on the town council along with the LibDems’ Sarah Freer.

Though described as an Independent, Andrew Terry appears to be affiliated neither to I4H nor to the True Independents.


  • BRAMER, Harry (The Conservative Party Candidate)
  • WINDER, John James (Liberal Democrats)

Another Independents for Herefordshire councillor, William Wilding, is stepping down here, but unlike in neighbouring Kerne Bridge, no replacement i4H candidate has been put forward.

Instead this ward may well revert to Harry Bramer for the Conservatives, who held it between 2003 and 2019 before narrowly losing to Coun Wilder last time.

Meanwhile John Winder is also seeking re-election on Ross town council.

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