On May 5, thousands of Londoners went to the polls to have their say on their ward and council representatives. For West London, this results in attitudinal shifts as political control changes hands… Read on for the headlines on the sub-region’s new political makeup:
Overall results and leadership handovers:
Barnet has seen a Labour gain from Conservative, with 41 Labour councillors elected against 22 Conservative councillors.
Former opposition leader and new leader Cllr Barry Rawlings has pledged to ‘protect’ the Green Belt, improve safety and retain weekly bin collections.
Outgoing Tory leader Daniel Thomas called the result ‘a warning shot from Conservative supporters’, observing that many simply ‘stayed at home’.
Brent Labour maintain control of the council despite losing 5 seats. Labour currently hold 49 seats, Conservatives 5, and the Liberal Democrats hold 3.
Cllr Muhammed Butt will continue as the leader of the council.
Ealing Labour maintain control of the council, gaining 1 more seat for 59 overall. The Liberal Democrats hold 6 seats as of the elections whilst the Conservatives hold 5.
Cllr Peter Mason will continue as the leader of the council.
Hammersmith & Fulham:
Hammersmith & Fulham has seen no change in seats at all, with Labour continuing to control the council at 40 seats and Conservatives holding 10.
Cllr Stephen Cowan will continue as leader of the council.
The Harrow Conservatives gained an unexpected win over Labour; so much so that they hadn’t prepared a manifesto!
Conservatives now hold 31 seats against the Labour’s 24, with former opposition leader Cllr Paul Osborn assuming leadership of the council.
Cllr Osborn cited Labour’s continued rising of council tax, fears over tall buildings, and street cleaning and flying tipping issues as reasons for not voting Labour on a “big day for Harrow”.
Hillingdon Conservatives maintain control of the council despite losing 4 seats. They now hold 30 seats, with Labour holding 23 seats.
Cllr Ian Edwards will continue as leader of the council.
Hounslow Labour maintain control of the council despite losing 1 seat to the Conservatives, with the parties now holding 52 and 10 seats respectively.
Former leader of the council Cllr Steve Curran is retiring due to ill health. Cllr Shantanu Rajawat has been appointed as his successor and this is expected to be confirmed at the full Council AGM.
Highlights from Manifestos:
Please find below a precis of manifesto pledges from incoming councils, grouped under three themes:
- We will work with local businesses, Middlesex University and Barnet College to develop the skills needed in the green economy and build a local network of suppliers.
- Increase the number of green jobs, working towards the LGA target of 2489 jobs by 2030; and we will increase the number of green apprenticeships, working towards the FoE target of 1470 by 2023
- We will develop a new network of Work & Skills Centres in growing sectors – partnering with Brent’s businesses, Brent Start, local Jobcentres and training providers to enhance training in Tech, Green Skills, Health and Social Care.
- Develop a Careers & Employability Programme and collaborate with schools, employers, skills providers and the Brent Youth Parliament to develop a Young People’s Careers and Employability Programme to improve post-18 outcomes for Brent’s children. We will continue our “Insight Day” jobs fairs for young people, and work to ensure top employers across London open their doors to Brent schools.
- We will extend our support for children and young people with additional education needs, acting quickly to ensure families are supported to identify at the earliest possible age the support they need, and empower every child to feel safe and welcome within the community as they grow into adulthood.
- Secure 2,000 new diverse apprenticeships, supporting more alternative routes into good, well-paid work for our residents, including using our apprenticeship levy to support small and medium sized good employers, broker £200k of spending on top quality in work training, and set high standards to ensure no employer uses apprenticeships to bypass decent pay to exploit workers.
Hammersmith & Fulham:
- We will explore ways to harness the energy for a learning partnership with industrial partners to develop a family of schools
- To maintain our connection to European neighbour, we will aim for an ambitious European language offer, with humanities subjects (history and geography) taught in French, German and Spanish at secondary school and children leaving sixth form speaking multiple languages fluently.
- We will ensure that every child in the borough, including those with special education needs, has a local school place
- Maintain the Tashan Daniel bursary scheme to help our young people achieve their ambitions in sport, culture and education
- We will give all 16-25 year olds the opportunity to be in education, training or employment
- Introduce the “Hounslow young person guarantee”, ensuring young people and their families have the access to the support, education, training or employment they need
Economic Development / Business:
- We will work in partnership with the community, businesses and partners to promote a circular economy.
- Encourage creative and digital industries, taking advantage of our proximity to Elstree Studios.
- Ensure the Council’s procurement policy supports the local supply chain through social value.
- Work with local employers towards becoming a London Living Wage borough, so everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
- We will make the case for a new West-London Overground Line …uniting with the Mayor of London to make the case for the West-London Orbital Overground Line, additional accessible Underground stations and an improved Chiltern line service.
- Work towards becoming a ‘Living Wage Borough’, focussing on good work and good pay. With the help of our businesses we’ll deliver a new strategy to reverse in-work poverty and raise pay and conditions for all.
- Launch a Town Centre Improvement Fund with projects to revitalise our High-Streets and shopping fronts. We will champion our town centres through festivals and events, and a better shopping experience working with hospitality businesses to open up their amenities and provide a ‘Community Toilet Scheme’.
- We will support Ealing’s High Streets Taskforce and invest £1m as seed funding to help it coordinate enhancements to our high streets and local parades to change for the better, strengthen their revival in the wake of the pandemic, extending our “Love Ealing, Love Local” approach to growing local business, local culture, enabling our seven towns to have everything they need for residents within a 20-minute walk.
- Enable more small and medium sized business to start up in our Borough by securing more affordable workspace across our seven towns, launch a Creative Enterprise Zone for Acton, an Innovation District for Greenford, and launch Southall Manor House as a centre for business incubation.
Hammersmith & Fulham:
- We will continue to support businesses in the emerging economic eco-system to deliver another 6,000 new jobs in STEM industries, medicine, media and the arts in the borough by 2026.
- Support local businesses to gain more of the council’s contracts, leading to greater local expenditure within the borough.
- Continue to promote the West London sub-region as the ‘Screen Capital’, a globally significant cluster recognised as a world leader for talent, innovation and sustainability in the TV/Film industry. BBC Studios, ITV, Disney and UKTV will all be important anchor institutions for this growth.
- We will continue to provide financial support to voluntary sector groups in the Borough.
- Continue to provide floral displays in town centres and across the Borough
- Maintain investment in our Town Centre’s including a new master plan for Uxbridge to make it even more pedestrian friendly
- Complete the Hayes Town regeneration project and begin a rolling programme of further housing improvements
- We will provide support for new SME’s to locate in vacant Council owned Commercial Units with a phased approach to rent.
- Use new powers with Business Rates to attract employers in to the borough and reward employers who employ Hounslow Residents at the London Living Wage
- Work with Heathrow Airport to create a London Living Wage zone for green jobs.
- We will protect and enhance green spaces and declare an immediate climate emergency…
- Achieve net zero carbon in Barnet by 2042 or earlier, and for the Council by 2030 or earlier…
- Increase electric vehicle charging points working towards the FoE target of 1219 by 2030 (currently approximately 139 in Barnet)
- Appoint a Lead Officer for Energy…We will aim to increase local renewable energy networks to try and generate 132 GWh by 2030 (currently 4 GWh in Barnet)
- We will launch a green bond, giving local people the chance to invest in and fund a range of projects, helping to pursue carbon neutrality; while receiving interest from the council.
- Double the number of trees planted in our last term and continue our wild-meadows initiative to create bee corridors across the borough.
- Work with Uber to install 300 EV charging points in addition to the 505 being installed directly by the council.
- Double the number of cycle hangers, aiming to install 600 cycle-parking spaces. We’ll guarantee a bike hanger is never more expensive than a car permit. We’ll work with the Mayor of London, to unlock funding for protected cycle space on priority routes in Brent.
- We will rapidly expand the number of bike hangers to at least 150 where communities want them, and electric vehicle charging points to at least 2,000 across the borough, invest £35m in improving our roads, tracks and pavements, and continue to implement controlled parking zones where a clear majority of residents want them.
- Retro-fit 750 homes in Ealing, supporting residents to insulate, power, heat and cool their homes sustainably, reduce energy bills and harmful emissions produced from gas boilers and combustion fuelled power stations through supporting 20 new community led energy projects.
- End the need to send any of Ealing’s waste to landfill through increasing reuse and recycling and reducing unnecessary waste, deliver the Borough’s first ultra-low waste zone trial, its first Library of Things, work to end our use of single-use non-recyclable plastics and work with communities to deliver new surplus food projects to reduce the amount of perfectly good food going in the bin.
Hammersmith & Fulham:
- We will ensure at least one EV charging point in every street in the borough, matching supply with demand via an easy-to-log registered interest in buying electric cars.
- Introduce a sustainable transport strategy with active travel at the forefront: more pocket parks, traffic calming, bike hangars and safe cycle paths; better crossings and pedestrian safety; and a cycling/walking campaign.
- Make being net carbon zero a planning requirement for all new developments.
- Support businesses to use electric vehicles and ‘last mile’ delivery options.
- We will plant 500 trees a year across the borough and establish more wildflower and wetland areas.
- Further develop the successful Chrysalis scheme, delivering £1m of community led environmental projects across the borough.
- Deliver 200 more EV charging points providing practical support to those who are unable to park off street.
- We will deliver over 2,000 more electrical vehicle charging points to make it easier for resident wishing to switch cars.
- Plant 20,000 trees
- Extend wildflower meadows on parks and on streets and achieve 45% of borough classified as Green Infrastructure.
For a full breakdown of council pledges, see the links to their manifestos below:
For a full breakdown on borough turnouts, please see the links below:
Hammersmith & Fulham: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/councillors-and-democracy/elections/local-council-elections-2022/results-hammersmith-fulham-council-elections-may-2022#:~:text=The%20turnout%20for%20the%20local%20council%20elections%20was%2033.26%25.