The Labour leader in Three Rivers believes his party will hold the balance of power after the election.

The Liberal Democrats lost overall control of the council last year meaning their policies could be defeated if the other two vote together.

And with just two seats between the current Lib Dem administration and the Conservative opposition party, Cllr Stephen Cox believes the party could be in a similar position after the election - even if the Tories become the largest party.

He was also critical of the council “hiking up” garage rent rates. In January, the authority put the price up from £10.05 to £15 per week on the estate, meaning the yearly price has gone up by £258.

He said: “I believe the Labour group will once again hold the balance of power.

“Our priority is to put on a good show across the district and hold on to the present seats in South Oxhey and we are hopeful of making a gain in Oxhey Hall and Hayling.

“The key issues coming up on the doorsteps are the cuts to the bus services, the attack on the disabled in the budget and the council tax increases by both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, and the garage rents being hiked up.

“People are fuming about garage rates being hiked up and the decision to charge for the collection of the brown bin.”

Two new candidates will be standing for Labour in South Oxhey after the death of Cllr Len Tippen and Cllr Marie-Louise Nolan deciding she did not want to stand for re-election.

Hertfordshire County Councillor Joan King and former district councillor Stephen King hope will replace them.

Cllr Cox also criticised the authority on their record overseeing major projects, including the William Penn Leisure Centre fiasco, where the project was £4 million over budget and two years late.

He added: “There is also an inability to understand that houses for rent are what is needed in South Oxhey.”