Labour claim victory on Merton Council

Wimbledon Guardian: Merton Labour leader Stephen Alambritis at the local election count at the Canons Leisure Centre, Mitcham Merton Labour leader Stephen Alambritis at the local election count at the Canons Leisure Centre, Mitcham

The Labour party has claimed victory in Merton after making gains in this year's council elections.

Labour won 36 seats after winning seats from the Conservatives in in Abbey, Cannon Hill and Lower Morden wards.

Conservatives won 20 seats, down seven from 2010.

Merton Park Independents retained all three seats in Merton Park.

While the Liberal Democrats leader Iain Dysart lost his seat in West Barnes by only about 35 seats to a Conservative candidate.

The LibDems did manage to retain one seat in the borough, with a victory for Mary-Jane Jeanes in West Barnes.

UKIP candidates who defected from Conservatives last year lost their seats as the national surge in support for the party failed to translate into winning votes in Merton.

KOSHH and Mitcham Independent parties failed to come close to winning seats but gathered more than 100 votes for every candidate.

In his victory speech council leader Stephen Alambritis said:"We knocked on a lot of doors of people who said we normally vote Conservative but we like the way you run the council and the way you run the administration and we don't want to change that."

He said: "I think residents like promises but they like to know they are realistic.

"We have done what we said we would do - we have frozen council tax, created 2,000 more school places, engaged with residents and in addition we have been business-like with good financial management."

He added: "The greater the majority the more humble we will be because the expectation is higher so we will continue to speak to residents and to others parties.

"The fact that we have a majority does not mean that there is a new ball game."

He said he is now waiting to see if it will be a majority win. 

Labour has been in charge of the council since 2010 but Merton has been in no overall control - Labour had 28 seats and ran the council as a minority administration.

2014

2010

How the borough's political landscape compares with 2010

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of Merton Conservatives paid tribute to hard-working colleagues following the blow to her group overnight, vowing to hold the elected Labour council to account over the next four years.

She said: "We've lost a number of close, very hard-working colleagues tonight and I know that members across the council are saddened by that but we've also elected some new colleagues tonight but we've also elected here tonight some new colleagues, new councillors across the parties but in particular I pay tribute to those who have fought and won a good election.

"I do congratulate Labour on their victory and although our group is smaller it wil retain a strong presence because we are united as a Conservative group and we do stand up for our residents and we can reassure them that we will be holding this Labour administration to account."

Merton Liberal Democrats leader, Iain Dysart, lost his council seat to a Tory candidate by a tiny margin in West Barnes ward.

Speaking graciously, with a smile on his face, Mr Dysart said: "Obviously I'm disappointed.

"We knew it was going to be close and I think that proved to be the case.

"We knew we had a national back-drop to deal with but we've done a lot of good things in the last few years and I think that was recognised by the West Barnes residents, although not on a high enough level."

Mr Dysart pointed out there were only 34 votes between him and the Tory candidate, but admitted it was a disappointing night for Merton Lib Dems.

What's your reaction to the result? What do you want to happen in Merton over the next four years? Leave your comments below or write a letter to: letters@wimbledonguardian.co.uk

Comments (11)

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10:16am Fri 23 May 14

alphabeti says...

Well done to Merton voters for an outright rejection of UKIP. The Conservative candidates who managed to avoid the Labour rout should take this as a warning. More defections will not be tolerated by the electorate.
Well done to Merton voters for an outright rejection of UKIP. The Conservative candidates who managed to avoid the Labour rout should take this as a warning. More defections will not be tolerated by the electorate. alphabeti
  • Score: 13

2:48pm Fri 23 May 14

Mordenman says...

Adieu - Merton UKIP
Adieu - Merton UKIP Mordenman
  • Score: 6

6:59pm Fri 23 May 14

P MCMANUS says...

'claim a victory' I suspect if the Tories had one it would headline in thispaper as 'fantastic victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!' -mealy mouthed comes to mind
cheers P
'claim a victory' I suspect if the Tories had one it would headline in thispaper as 'fantastic victory!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!' -mealy mouthed comes to mind cheers P P MCMANUS
  • Score: 1

7:36pm Fri 23 May 14

Rittie2000 says...

Sad Labour Merton win - even after cutting street cleaning, expensive parking, crazy money making bus lanes, close of local facilities, and ignoring objection to school expansion and loss of green space. What are people thinking?
Sad Labour Merton win - even after cutting street cleaning, expensive parking, crazy money making bus lanes, close of local facilities, and ignoring objection to school expansion and loss of green space. What are people thinking? Rittie2000
  • Score: -1

6:42am Sat 24 May 14

alphabeti says...

Rittie2000 wrote:
Sad Labour Merton win - even after cutting street cleaning, expensive parking, crazy money making bus lanes, close of local facilities, and ignoring objection to school expansion and loss of green space. What are people thinking?
Don't underestimate the power of the backlash against the current government. Abbey already had one labour councillor and now has three. Lower Morden went from 3 tories to 3 labour helped no doubt by the turncoat Hilton and his bullying of the teacher Mrs Schneider. Raynes Park and Hillside wards are pretty much well-heeled Tory strongholds. I'm sure they were not too happy to find themselves associated with UKIP and went back to blue at the first opportunity. Another 4 years of the Leader grinning out of the paper and taking credit for everything starting with the sun rising in the morning is small price to pay to see the back of Evans and Hilton and their ilk.
[quote][p][bold]Rittie2000[/bold] wrote: Sad Labour Merton win - even after cutting street cleaning, expensive parking, crazy money making bus lanes, close of local facilities, and ignoring objection to school expansion and loss of green space. What are people thinking?[/p][/quote]Don't underestimate the power of the backlash against the current government. Abbey already had one labour councillor and now has three. Lower Morden went from 3 tories to 3 labour helped no doubt by the turncoat Hilton and his bullying of the teacher Mrs Schneider. Raynes Park and Hillside wards are pretty much well-heeled Tory strongholds. I'm sure they were not too happy to find themselves associated with UKIP and went back to blue at the first opportunity. Another 4 years of the Leader grinning out of the paper and taking credit for everything starting with the sun rising in the morning is small price to pay to see the back of Evans and Hilton and their ilk. alphabeti
  • Score: 4

7:46pm Sat 24 May 14

andyray says...

Why Labour Won In Merton?

For the sake of mature democracy, hopefully, Labour's hard-earned and decisive win also helps elevate Merton's opposition politics from school-ground banters, distortions and exaggerations to the level of sober, realistic and constructive criticism. The signal is clear : thanks to The Guardian and its ilk, Merton residents are too well-informed and smart to entertain Opposition for Opposition's Sake!

Surely Labour leader Cllr Alambritis acknowledges that the Council has still many things to fix with limited budgets. But during the campaigning period I was frankly saddened and worried about continual drip-feed of reckless or false claims the opposition leaflets were propagating -- like huge tax cuts by depriving contingency funds (against flooding or snow), or "saving" libraries that weren't to be closed in any case, or protecting a Holocaust memorial in a park that was never to be touched to begin with! And all this tossed against a council that's adjudged the Best Run Council in the country!

Dear Opposition, next time please come up with feasible, fully-costed and budget-integrated suggestions and not ad hoc ideas, nor innuendos. Otherwise Merton will once again reject you!
Why Labour Won In Merton? For the sake of mature democracy, hopefully, Labour's hard-earned and decisive win also helps elevate Merton's opposition politics from school-ground banters, distortions and exaggerations to the level of sober, realistic and constructive criticism. The signal is clear : thanks to The Guardian and its ilk, Merton residents are too well-informed and smart to entertain Opposition for Opposition's Sake! Surely Labour leader Cllr Alambritis acknowledges that the Council has still many things to fix with limited budgets. But during the campaigning period I was frankly saddened and worried about continual drip-feed of reckless or false claims the opposition leaflets were propagating -- like huge tax cuts by depriving contingency funds (against flooding or snow), or "saving" libraries that weren't to be closed in any case, or protecting a Holocaust memorial in a park that was never to be touched to begin with! And all this tossed against a council that's adjudged the Best Run Council in the country! Dear Opposition, next time please come up with feasible, fully-costed and budget-integrated suggestions and not ad hoc ideas, nor innuendos. Otherwise Merton will once again reject you! andyray
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Mon 26 May 14

tjames says...

lunatics in charge of asylum--proof in andyrays post
lunatics in charge of asylum--proof in andyrays post tjames
  • Score: 2

10:31am Tue 27 May 14

Henry Nelless says...

AndyRay is quite wrong. The Conservative manifesto was fully costed and deliverable over a four year period. Over the period 2010-14, the unallocated reserves of the Council (i.e. money which was just building up without any specific purpose behind it) has increased from £60m to £110m. Every year an additional £12.5m is being added to it. It was this overcharge which we had identified and were proposing to stop via both a reduction in Council Tax and also an investment in services.

I don't actually think that any Party in the elections had come up with such a detailed manifesto as the Conservative one.
AndyRay is quite wrong. The Conservative manifesto was fully costed and deliverable over a four year period. Over the period 2010-14, the unallocated reserves of the Council (i.e. money which was just building up without any specific purpose behind it) has increased from £60m to £110m. Every year an additional £12.5m is being added to it. It was this overcharge which we had identified and were proposing to stop via both a reduction in Council Tax and also an investment in services. I don't actually think that any Party in the elections had come up with such a detailed manifesto as the Conservative one. Henry Nelless
  • Score: -1

3:20pm Tue 27 May 14

tjames says...

well said henry--but why no campaigning in my ward?
well said henry--but why no campaigning in my ward? tjames
  • Score: 1

8:58am Wed 28 May 14

Henry Nelless says...

Thanks tjames. Difficult to answer your question as don't know where you're based. Email details to office@mertonconserv
atives.org and can investigate.
Thanks tjames. Difficult to answer your question as don't know where you're based. Email details to office@mertonconserv atives.org and can investigate. Henry Nelless
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Wed 28 May 14

tjames says...

ravensbury ward
ravensbury ward tjames
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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