The Conservative party has rejected a proposal by Labour to hold a series of hustings ahead of the borough elections this May.

Hertsmere Labour leader Cllr Jeremy Newmark invited council leader Morris Bright to take part in a series of husting-style debates across the major areas of the borough.

Every seat in Hertsmere is up for election, where the Tories currently hold a huge majority of 35-4.

In a letter to the Cllr Bright, Cllr Newmark suggested the debates would involve himself and Cllr Bright as well as individual candidates in the area and any other representatives of any other parties or independents who will be contesting May’s elections.

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Within a week, and having spoken with councillor colleagues, Cllr Bright said the idea was “unworkable” adding with up to 20 possible speakers in, for example, Borehamwood, everyone would need to be “afforded the same chance” to speak as others.

There are 15 wards across Hertsmere.

He says his party are more focused on ensuring everyone receives up to date information in the run up to the elections, such as postal votes and new boundaries. Cllr Bright said “no one expressed an interest” in spending time setting up a hustings, and would rather be out on doorsteps on the campaign trail.

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In response, Cllr Newmark accused the Tories of “running scared”.

He said: "They are running scared. I am not surprised. The Tories are afraid of real debate when they can't hide behind their abuse of procedure and their majority in the council chamber.

“Local people are the losers here. My challenge is still open. If there is one single solitary Tory councillor who is prepared to debate the issues affecting local people we will work with them to make it happen."