Four aspiring politicians will battle it out for a council seat in Colliers Wood next month.

Merton Council announced candidates on Friday for the byelection which will be held on Thursday, August 8.

The byelection was triggered following the death of Labour Councillor Gam Gurung, of Colliers Wood, who died on Monday, June 24, after a six month battle with cancer.

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Wimbledon Times:

Caroline Cooper-Marbiah - Labour

Age: 50

Lives: Crusoe Road, Mitcham

Profession: Accounts

On her selection she said: "When I moved to Colliers Wood 15 years ago, I found not just a home but a community.

"I love living here, and want to keep Colliers Wood strong.

"I am the secretary of the Residents Association in Colliers Wood and the chairman in Crusoe Road, and think it’s great that our good schools have not just been protected by our Labour Council, but are expanding.

"I work in finance and I’ll make sure the council stretches its money as far as possible.

"The Conservatives were wrong to put council tax up when they were in charge of Merton Council, and if people vote for me I’ll push for yet another year’s council tax freeze under Labour."

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton's Labour group said: "Labour has a really strong team in Colliers Wood, and Caroline has already been working closely with local Councillors Laxmi Attawar and Nick Draper alongside Siobhain McDonagh MP to do things like get the ugly black car park demolished and get an agreement from The Tower’s owner to re-clad it.

"I know they all miss Gam terribly, but if anyone can step into his shoes, Caroline can.

"She’s lived in Colliers Wood for years, and is well known in the area for tackling anti-social behaviour through her work on the Residents Associations.

"I look forward to welcoming her onto Merton Council next month."

Wimbledon Times:

Shafqat Janjua - UKIP

Age: 46

Lives: Miles Road, Mitcham

Profession: Local entrepreneur who runs a legal services company in Colliers Wood.

On his selection and candidacy he said: "I used to vote Labour, but their immigration policies have caused real problems nationally and locally, like the Conservatives, instead of cutting the high cost of council tax they've only cut crucial services.

"The three main parties are all the same and you can't trust any of them.

"I'm proud to be standing for UKIP because it is the only political party that cares about Britain and the only one that can make a difference."

Councillor Suzanne Evans, leader of Merton's UK Independence Party said: "Shafqat would make a perfect councillor; he has boundless energy, bags of common sense and with his immense business experience knows how to deliver value for money and top quality customer service.

"Merton could certainly do with his help on this, languishing as it is at just 26th out of 33 London boroughs on performance.

"If you want your money spent wisely and well, vote UKIP and vote for Shafqat."

Wimbledon Times:

Peter Lord - Conservative

Age: 31

Lives: Chapter Way, Colliers Wood.

Profession: Product manager for a major telecommunications company.

On his selection he said: "Until recently I was a volunteer police officer where I learnt firsthand how important it is to keep open communication between residents and the police.

"Issues that have already been raised with me include littering, noise and anti-social behaviour around Merantun Way, especially late at night, and I will shortly be meeting with the local police to draw their attention to this.

"I have also voiced my concerns about the slow progress on developing the ‘Brown and Root Tower’.

"The Tower is an eye sore and work on it needs to continue, not start and stop as it seems to have done to date. "Colliers Wood is a great place to live and work, but we can make it better still."

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of Merton Conservatives said: "Peter is young, energetic and full of enthusiasm to help us make Colliers Wood, and Merton, a much better place to live and work. "Colliers Wood already has a very strong community feel about it, with some great local community champions and I know that Peter would fit in well with his commitment to public service but also his background, which is typical of many of the people who have moved to Colliers Wood in recent years."

Wimbledon Times:

Phil Ling - Liberal Democrat

Age: 32

Lives: Norman Road, Colliers Wood

Profession: Marketing and Strategy Consultant

On his selection he said: "For me politics is about three things: increasing opportunity for all; thinking for the long term and positive politics.

"I believe in a society that offers opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds to succeed - but too often people are just fighting to keep their heads above water. For example, there's much more that could be done to help people cut the rising cost of energy bills and energy use, I'll be campaigning to highlight this.

"And too much about politics is about quick fixes and meaningless slogans, but we need to think long-term. We need living streets that are safe for people - that's why I support the campaign for a default speed limit of 20mph on Merton's streets, where people shop, walk, cycle and go to school. Making higher speed limits the exception lowers the overall speed of traffic, reduces injuries and damage from accidents, and cuts pollution. But behaviour isn't going to change overnight, it's a process."

Merton Lib Dem leader, Councillor Iain Dysart said: "Philip is a local resident and campaigner who works very hard and it's great news that he will be standing in Colliers Wood as a Liberal Democrat.

"During these difficult times, it is clear that we need another strong voice on the council, working on long-term solutions that will make Merton more liberal."