Voting in Herefordshire finished nearly a week ago, but the county is still some way from knowing how it will be run over the next four years.

To the surprise of many, the Conservatives emerged as the largest party with 21 seats on Herefordshire Council, up seven but still short of the 27 needed for a majority.

Theoretically, they could still be denied power by the other parties working together.

North Herefordshire Conservatives chairman Dan Hurcomb, who unseated chair of the council Sebastian Bowen of the True Independents, said: “There is very little room for the current [Independents for Herefordshire /Green] coalition to continue.

“Any attempt to do so would go against the wishes of the electorate, who have rejected their policies.”


The Liberal Democrats, who doubled their tally to 12 seats, are key to any power-sharing arrangement. But their leader in the county Terry James said his party “will not support a minority administration”.

This is because under the current cabinet system, where councillors from ruling parties are appointed to head up the council’s seven main departments, “they can do most things without referring to [other] councillors”, Coun James said.

The LibDems are now demanding the county move to a committee system of decision making, “so all votes are counted”.

High-profile casualties of last week’s vote included three of the Independents for Herefordshire’s five cabinet members: John Harrington (transport), Gemma Davies (assets) and Ange Tyler (housing). The party was approached for comment.

By contrast the Greens, who did not stand against their coalition partners, had a positive if unspectacular result, going from seven councillors to nine.


Their leader in the county Ellie Chowns said: “We are happy to work with anyone that we share common ground with.

“Greens and LibDems already work effectively together in a number of local authorities. We have reached out to them and look forward to their response.”

The political horse-trading is likely to continue until a full meeting of all councillors next Friday (May 19). This will elect a new leader of the council who will then appoint a seven-strong cabinet to head the council’s departments.