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About Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire (Listeni/ˈhɑrtfərdʃɪər/ or /ˈhɑrfərdʃər/), commonly abbreviated as Herts, is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. It is the 14th most populous ceremonial county in England, home to over one million people. Hertfordshire is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire (the unitary authorities of Luton and Central Bedfordshire), Cambridgeshire and Essex. Hertfordshire's county town is Hertford, with several other population centres including St Albans, the only city, and Watford, the county's most populous settlement. Despite a population density of 656 people per km2 (compared to the UK average of 255 people per km2), more than two thirds of the county is classified as rural.


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Tommy Smith (born 22 May 1980) is an English professional footballer who plays as a right winger or striker. Born in Hemel Hempstead, he started his professional career at nearby Watford Football Club, playing a part in their rise to the Premier League under the management of Graham Taylor 1999. He played more than half of Watford's league games in 1999–2000, and in September 2000 scored on his sole appearance for England under-21s.

Owing in part to financial constraints, Smith left Watford in 2003, spending one season at Sunderland, followed by two at Derby County. After being voted Derby's Player of the year for 2005–06, he returned to Watford just after the start of the following season. He helped the Hertfordshire club reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 2006–07, and was voted Watford F.C. Player of the Season in consecutive seasons in 2007–08 and 2008–09, scoring 17 goals in his latter season. He joined Portsmouth for a fee of approximately £1.8 million on 27 August 2009. After playing for them in the Premier League and Football League Championship, Smith joined QPR during the 2010–11 season.

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Credit: Robert Stainforth

Tring reservoirs at sunset.

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Hertfordshire's representation in the British Parliament can be traced back to the thirteenth century, during the reign of King Edward I of England. By 1307 the county had six representatives; two for the entire county, and two each for St Albans and Hertford. Parliament's role changed steadily over the following centuries, from a body that acted in an advisory role to the English monarch, to a legislative body in its own right. However, Hertfordshire's representation within it remained constant for over 500 years.

By the 19th century it became clear that the national constituency boundaries were in need of reform to reflect the rapidly changing demographics of the country. One of Hertford's Members of Parliament immediately prior to the 1885 Redistribution of Seats Act was Arthur Balfour, who later went on to become Prime Minister. The act divided Hertfordshire into the four constituencies of Hertford, Hitchin, St Albans and Watford. Significant reform of British politics continued in the 20th century, and by 1983 Hertfordshire had 11 constituencies. As of the 2010 election, all of Hertfordshire's eleven MPs are Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats finished second in seven constituencies, while Labour finished second in the remaining four.

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This map depicts the locations of the major settlements within Hertfordshire. The line surrounding the lighter area shows the county's boundaries. The inner lines show the boundaries of the county's ten areas of local government. Grey areas depict areas of urban development.

According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, thirty settlements in Hertfordshire had a population of at least 5,000. These include Hertford, the county town, Watford, the most populous settlement, and St Alban's, the only city. Three settlements with populations of over 10,000 have been omitted from this map; Bushey, Croxley Green and Abbots Langley are situated to the immediate south, west and north of Watford respectively.