September 2 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 23, 2014
Barnet Conservatives have narrowly avoided losing control of Barnet Council after winning the local election with a majority of just one seat.
In a night that saw major gains for the Labour Party – and which went down to the last ward - voters in Barnet awarded the Conservative administration another four years in office.
The night was a dismal failure for the Liberal Democrats who lost two of their three seats in Barnet (all in Childs Hill ward).
The ward became a battleground for both Labour and Conservative candidates, with the vote so hotly contested it required a recount.
With both parties neck-and-neck, it was left to the Childs Hill vote to decide who would control Barnet Council.
But the Conservatives took two of the seats in the ward and the Lib Dems retained one.
It meant Labour’s quest to gain overall control in Barnet for the first time was unsuccessful.
Cllr Alison Moore. leader of Barnet Labour, said: “It’s disappointing, but we made real gains.
“This is the strongest we’ve ever been in Barnet, so we can be proud of that.
“I think the gains we made show just how angry people in Barnet are with the Conservative administration - over parking, over privatisation, over housing.
“But, overall, I’m incredibly proud of our team.”
The election marked the first time Barnet Conservatives have faced the electorate since starting their controversial One Barnet outsourcing programme.
Council leader Cllr Richard Cornelius said: “I’m very pleased. It was quite tight but we’ll be looking forward to delivering the services for Barnet residents.”
The Conservatives retained all three seats in Golders Green and Garden Suburb. Labour retained all three seats in East Finchley.
Final count as it stands: Labour (27 seats), the Conservatives (32 seats) and the Liberal Democrats (one seat).
By the time Colindale - seen as a safe ward for Labour - has had its election next month, Labour are expected to have won 30 seats.