By-election followed death of Gam Gurung
Caroline Cooper-Marbiah from the Labour Party has been elected the new councillor for Colliers Wood tonight (Thursday August 8), following a 30% turnout.
A by-election was called in Colliers Wood at the end of June following the death of Councillor Gam Gurung (right), who served as a member of the Merton council since 2010.
It was the first stand alone by-election to be called in Merton since 2003, and the result means Labour retains control of Merton Borough council.
The breakdown of votes was as follows:
Labour Party: Caroline Cooper-Marbiah: 1,685
Conservative Party: Peter Lord: 441
UKIP: Shafqat Janjua: 157
Liberal Democrats: Phil Ling: 52
Councillor Cooper-Marbiah, who lives in Crusoe Road in Mitcham, said: "I have been active in the local community for many years, and this campaign showed Colliers Wood at its very best. The result was a ringing endorsement of Merton's Labour Council.
"People clearly think Labour is doing a good job locally, especially the way we have kept council tax low while protecting local services like our library and parks, and getting something done about The Tower. I'd like to thank everyone who supported me in this campaign, and I promise I will do my best to keep Colliers Wood strong."
Councillor Oonagh Moulton, Leader of Merton Conservatives, said: "First of all, I would like to congratulate Councillor Cooper-Marbiah on her victory after yesterday’s by-election in Colliers Wood. Being a councillor is a huge honour that carries an even greater responsibility with it. I wish Councillor Cooper-Marbiah all the very best on her new role.
"I am saddened that the Conservative candidate, Peter Lord, did not win. Peter would have made an excellent councillor and would have provided a very strong voice for Colliers Wood. His enthusiasm, hard work and good humour were on show throughout the campaign and his key themes of tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, cleaning up our streets, investing in the high street and reducing council tax were all very strong and positive. I am sure Peter’s time will come again."
Phil Ling, the Lib Dem candidate, said: "Many congratulations to Caroline on her win - I wish her the best of luck representing Colliers Wood as Cllr Gurung did; it's a fantastic area. I was proud to stand in the by-election backed by the Lib Dems, and have really enjoyed meeting a huge number of people over the last few weeks.
"Obviously the result was a bit of a disappointment, but with Colliers Wood having had Labour councillors for over 20 years, it was largely to be expected. I think all the opposition parties need to reflect on what it tells them about both the local and national pictures.
"We know that the Conservatives and Ukip threw resources from across the borough into the area and failed to make any impact, whereas our campaign was more limited and focused on gathering support for a borough-wide 20mph limit on residential roads."
August 8, 2013