Barnet Post

Conservatives increase majority on Barnet Council with by-election wins

Labour lose ground as Tories gain council seat in East Barnet

Hero for Conservatives increase majority on Barnet Council with by-election wins
Nicole Richer, the new Conservative councillor for East Barnet
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter  

The Conservative group has boosted its majority on Barnet Council after taking a seat in East Barnet from Labour.

Tory candidate Nicole Richer won 2,549 votes in Thursday’s by-election – 292 more than Labour’s Linda Lusingu.

With the Conservatives’ Nick Mearing-Smith winning with a comfortable majority in Edgware, the Tories’ majority on the council now stands at 13.

During a short speech after the result was read out, Cllr Richer thanked her opponents, the residents who voted for her and her team. “I never expected to be standing for election, and I could not be more proud to represent the residents of East Barnet,” she added.

During her campaign, Cllr Richer pledged to ensure East Barnet received enough funding to clean up neighbourhoods and invest in infrastructure, while fighting to stop “over-development” and protect green spaces.

Cllr Mearing-Smith (pictured above) said he looked forward to working for the people of Edgware and Barnet. Speaking before the result was announced, he said one of the most important issues that came up on the doorstep was getting footpaths repaired, which he would be “happy to do” if elected.

Another key issue was the proposed regeneration of the town centre. He said it could be very positive for Edgware, and it was important to look after the interests of existing residents as well as future residents.

Reacting to the result in East Barnet, Labour group leader Barry Rawlings said: “I’m disappointed about East Barnet. We had a very good candidate in Linda, who worked very hard. I thought we ran a fair campaign and am obviously looking forward to having an opportunity to regain the seat next year.”

Cllr Rawlings said he felt UK-wide factors such as the success of the coronavirus vaccine rollout and the easing of the lockdown had played a role in the local elections, providing a fillip to the parties that are currently in power in England, Scotland and Wales.

Full results for East Barnet ward:

Gabrielle Louise Bailey (Green Party) = 547

Sean James Hooker (Liberal Democrats) = 415

Linda Lusingu (Labour Party) = 2,257

Alex Merola (The For Britain Movement) = 49

Nicole Alison Richer (Conservative Party) = 2.549

Full results for Edgware ward:

Andrea Bilbow (Lab) = 1,456

Nick Mearing-Smith (Con) = 3,427

Sam Murray (Green) = 343

Roger Tichborne (Lib Dem) = 254

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