Senior Hertfordshire Lib Dem councillors step down from leadership after 52 years of service

Two Hertfordshire Liberal Democrat council group leaders have stepped down from their leadership roles (although they remain councillors) which they have held for 30 and 22 years respectively.

In Three Rivers, Ann Shaw announced that she was stepping down after three decades in the top job as Leader of the Council, telling the Watford Observer:

It is 30 years since we took over the administration of Three Rivers District Council from the Conservatives, which is long enough for one person to be leader.

This does not mean any reduction in my commitment to TRDC and the community. In fact I need to be able to spend more time working to sort out some local problems and issues.

Ann is replaced by a familiar face, Sara Bedford.  I first knew Sara on the first Lib Dem online conferencing forum, Cix, way back in the day and I wish her well. In fact, I first heard of her when she was involved in NUS even before then. She has long experience as a councillor. She said of Ann:

Ann is going to be a difficult act to follow, but I will have my own ways of doing things. It’s a good time to become leader after the huge vote of support for the Lib Dems at the elections earlier this month.

I look forward to working with residents, local organisations, staff, and other councillors across the district, to keep Three Rivers as the top rated council in Hertfordshire, delivering quality services that are value for money.

In Watford, Iain Sharpe has stood down after 22 years as Group Leader. His successor is Peter Taylor, who I first knew when he worked for Alistair Carmichael. I am particularly grateful to him for his hard work in filthy weather at the Livingston by-election in 2005 when he came up to help. Peter told the Watford Observer:

I’ll work closely with Dorothy as our Mayor to ensure our town continues to move in the right direction, and I’ll work closely with communities across Watford to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

Cllr Iain Sharpe’s 22 years of service as group leader saw the Liberal Democrats go from strength to strength in the Town Hall – winning the Mayoralty and gaining council seats across the town.

This year’s successful results are testament to Iain’s leadership ability and political judgement.

He’ll be a tough act to follow but I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue his hard work.

Electoral success isn’t built on what happens during one campaign. It’s the hard work and public service over decades by many people that has put the party in such a strong position in these councils.

Ann and Iain deserve our thanks for all they have done and we wish Sara and Peter all the best in their new roles.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Eddie Sammon 25th May '16 - 8:50pm

    Thanks for your leadership Anne Shaw and Iain Sharpe. The service continues…

  • nigel hunter 26th May '16 - 12:02am

    Thirty years in control. Surely we must learn something from this success.

  • Richard Underhill 26th May '16 - 4:34pm

    30 + 22 = 52 but this is meaningless mathematics.
    Suppose 8 criminals are sentenced to 30 years each in prison and a headline says 240 years (and without saying which sentences are concurrent and which are consecutive).

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