Herefordshire Council is a unitary authority with all the seats up for election today. At present it is a Conservative council with 30 Conservatives, 10 Lib Dems, two Labour councillors, one Green and 15 others. The large number of independent candidates this time round makes for an unpredictable contest. However there are many wards which the Lib Dems have failed to contest giving an indication that they may be in retreat. Two independents have been elected unopposed.
The Conservatives were recently boosted by a defector to their rans.
The Council is cutting management posts and red tape but keeping all its libraries open. Savings are being achievedd through shared services with the NHS.
It is celebrating a Year in the Orchard by encouraging volunteers to plant over 200 varieties of apple trees on public land. They have also started gardening clubsin Children's Centres. The frequency of Farmers Markets has been increased.
Whatever happens on Thursday the Council will have a new leader. The current leader Cllr Roger Phillips is standing down after eight years in the job. One impressive aspect to his leadership was that when the Council got things wrong he was willing to admit it and seek to rectify matters – for instance over a threatening letter to a volunteer gardener.