East Hertfordshire

Coordinates: 51°54′N 00°00′W / 51.900°N -0.000°E / 51.900; -0.000
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East Hertfordshire District
Bishops Stortford St Michael parish church, a Grade I listed building.
Bishops Stortford St Michael parish church, a Grade I listed building.
East Hertfordshire shown within Hertfordshire
East Hertfordshire shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyHertfordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQHertford
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyEast Herts Council
 • MPsOliver Heald
Stephen McPartland
Julie Marson
 • Total183.66 sq mi (475.69 km2)
 • Rank81st (of 296)
 • Total151,635
 • Rank143rd (of 296)
 • Density830/sq mi (320/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code26UD (ONS)
E07000242 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTL3758624322

East Hertfordshire is one of ten local government districts in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Hertford, the county town of Hertfordshire. The largest town in the district is Bishop's Stortford, and the other main towns are Ware, Buntingford and Sawbridgeworth. At the 2011 Census, the population of the district was 137,687.[2] By area it is the largest of the ten local government districts in Hertfordshire. The district borders North Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, and Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford in Essex.

In the 2006 edition of Channel 4's "Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK", East Hertfordshire was rated the seventh-best district to live in. In 2012, East Hertfordshire came ninth in Halifax bank's annual survey of most desirable places to live.[3] It came first in this survey in 2020.[4]


East Hertfordshire was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the whole area of six former districts and most of a seventh, which were all abolished at the same time:[5]

The new district was named East Hertfordshire, reflecting its position within the wider county.[6]

The boundaries of East Hertfordshire have remained largely consistent since 1974, although minor alterations have been made on occasion, particularly along the eastern boundary which largely follows the River Stort to reflect the changing course of the river, and along the border with Stevenage to respond to new developments.[7][8][9][10][11]


East Herts Council
Maura Connolly,
since 15 May 2024[12]
Ben Crystall,
since 17 May 2023
Richard Cassidy
since 2019[13]
Seats50 councillors
Political groups
Administration (27)
  Green (17)
  Liberal Democrats (10)
Other parties (23)
  Conservative (16)
  Labour (5)
  Independent (2)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EQ

Hertfordshire has a two-tier structure of local government, with the ten district councils (including East Herts Council) providing district-level services, and Hertfordshire County Council providing county-level services.[14]

East Herts Council is responsible for a range of local services including refuse and recycling collection, planning, building control, licensing, housing, parking and council tax collection.[15] The council is officially called 'East Hertfordshire District Council', but its corporate branding is 'East Herts Council'.[15][16][17]

Political control[edit]

The council has been under no overall control since the 2023 election, being run by a Green Party and Liberal Democrats coalition, led by Green councillor Ben Crystall.[18][19]

The first election to East Hertfordshire District Council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new system came into force on 1 April 1974. Political control since 1974 has been as follows:[20]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1995
No overall control 1995–1999
Conservative 1999–2023
No overall control 2023–present


The role of Chairman of East Hertfordshire District Council is largely ceremonial. They preside at council meetings and act as first citizen of the district. They are chosen from the councillors but have to maintain a non-political stance, although they do have the right to exercise a casting vote in the case of a tied vote at a meeting. The role of chairman is usually held by a different councillor each year.[21]

Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2001 have been:[22]

Councillor Party From To
Mike Carver Conservative 2001 Jan 2006
Tony Jackson Conservative 22 Feb 2006 20 May 2015
Linda Haysey Conservative 20 May 2015 8 May 2023
Ben Crystall Green 17 May 2023


Following the 2023 election and changes of allegiance up to December 2023 the composition of the council was:[23][24]

Party Councillors
Green 17
Conservative 16
Liberal Democrats 10
Labour 5
Independent 2
Total 50

The next elections are due to be held in 2027.


The council is based at Wallfields on Pegs Lane in Hertford. The original building there was a large nineteenth century house, which had been bought in 1950 by Hertford Rural District Council and converted to become its offices. It subsequently became the headquarters of East Hertfordshire District Council following local government reorganisation in 1974, and large modern extensions have subsequently been added to the original house.[25]


Since the last boundary changes in 2023, there have been 50 councillors elected from 26 wards. Elections for the whole council are held every four years.[26]


The 26 wards of East Hertfordshire are:[26]

  • Aston, Datchworth and Walkern
  • Bishop's Stortford All Saints
  • Bishop's Stortford Central
  • Bishop's Stortford North
  • Bishop's Stortford Parsonage
  • Bishop's Stortford South
  • Bishop's Stortford Thorley Manor
  • Braughing and Standon
  • Buntingford
  • Great Amwell and Stansteads
  • Hertford Bengeo
  • Hertford Castle
  • Hertford Heath and Brickendon
  • Hertford Kingsmead
  • Hertford Rural
  • Hertford Sele
  • Hunsdon
  • Little Hadham and The Pelhams
  • Much Hadham
  • Sawbridgeworth
  • The Mundens
  • Ware Priory
  • Ware Rural
  • Ware St Mary's
  • Ware Trinity
  • Watton-at-Stone

Wider politics[edit]

East Hertfordshire straddles three parliamentary constituencies: Hertford and Stortford, North East Hertfordshire and Stevenage.[27]


The district is entirely parished. See List of civil parishes in Hertfordshire.


The district contains only one motorway - a small stretch of the M11 at Bishop's Stortford. The major roads within the district include:

A10 - (north-south) from London to Cambridge: enters after Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, leaves before Royston dualled.

A414 - (WSW-ENE) from Welwyn to Harlow, through Hertford, where it forms the Hertford by-pass.

A602 - (SE-NW), connecting at A10 at Ware with the A1(M) at Stevenage.

A120 - (west-east) connecting the A10 at Standon with the M11 at Bishop's Stortford.

None of the above roads are classified as trunk roads. Therefore, they are maintained by Hertfordshire County Council while responsibility for the M11 rests with National Highways.

Stansted Airport lies just outside East Hertfordshire, being in the neighbouring district of Uttlesford in Essex. Many of the district's towns have rail services into London at King's Cross, Moorgate, and Liverpool Street.


The district's biggest employer is the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which has a research and manufacturing centre in Ware. The company also has a large research centre and office in neighbouring Stevenage.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – East Hertfordshire Local Authority (E07000242)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Customer Service Strategy Evidence 2015 - 2020" (PDF). East Hertfordshire District Council. p. 8. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Hart in Hampshire remains UK's most desirable place". BBC News. 21 December 2012. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  4. ^ "UK's best place to live: The list starts with East Herts" (PDF) (Press release). Halifax. 31 January 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  5. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 9 May 2023
  6. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 9 May 2023
  7. ^ "Local Government Boundary Commission For England Report No.433" (PDF). Local Government Boundary Commission For England. 1982. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 April 2018.
  8. ^ Local Government Boundary Commission For England. "Local Government Boundary Commission For England Report No. 451" (PDF). Local Government Boundary Commission For England. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 April 2018.
  9. ^ National Archives (1992). "The Essex and Hertfordshire (County Boundaries) Order 1992". legislation.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ "LGBCE | East Hertfordshire & Stevenage PABR | LGBCE Site". www.lgbce.org.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  11. ^ The National Archives (2013). "The East Hertfordshire and Stevenage (Boundary Change) Order 2013" (PDF). legislation.gov.uk.
  12. ^ "Council meeting, 15 May 2024". East Herts Council. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  13. ^ Corr, Sinead (9 March 2019). "East Herts Council appoints Fenland corporate director Richard Cassidy as new boss". Bishop's Stortford Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 3 March 2023
  15. ^ a b "Home | East Herts District Council". www.eastherts.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  16. ^ "East Herts Council launches Covid-19 recovery grants". Bishop's Stortford Independent. 1 July 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  17. ^ "East Herts Archaeological Society". East Herts Archaeological Society. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Local elections 2023: Tories lose Dacorum, Hertsmere, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield". BBC News. 6 May 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  19. ^ "East Herts Council confirms new political leadership". East Herts Council. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  20. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  21. ^ "Chairman of the Council | East Herts District Council". www.eastherts.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Council minutes". East Herts District Council. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  24. ^ Corr, Sinead (6 December 2023). "East Herts Green group loses second district councillor as party marks 200 days in office". Bishop's Stortford Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  25. ^ "Wallfields". Hertfordshire Mercury. Hertford. 13 October 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  26. ^ a b "The East Hertfordshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2023", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2023/52, retrieved 10 May 2023
  27. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 10 May 2023.

51°54′N 00°00′W / 51.900°N -0.000°E / 51.900; -0.000