Redbridge Labour win a massive 51 seats in the 2018 local elections
PUBLISHED: 10:12 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 04 May 2018
Labour keep control of Redbridge Council after winning a massive 51 seats in the local council elections - up from 36 seats.
The Conservatives lost 14 seats, bringing their total number to 12.
The Liberal Democrats were completely wiped out from council politics and all three representatives in the borough lost their seats.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, said he is absolutely ecstatic about the win.
“I am over the moon,” he said after more than 27 hours awake.
“The result is a testament to the principle we stand to which is we want to ensure that we carry on with the promises we made and deliver them so residents can believe in us really.
“We need to work harder and smarter and walking the streets (while canvasing) I have reflected on a lot of things that people have said and they will be taken on and we will be a better party and a better borough because of the humbling experience of the last three weeks walking the street.”
Cllr Athwal said the party had targets in their mind about the number of councillors they hoped would be elected, but did not predict the 51 seats.
“We wanted to win Fullwel, Barkingside and Clayhall and we through that was in our reach and we didn’t want to lose Hainault.
“Anything else was a bonus.”
In hindsight through, there was one sticking point for the Labour leader and that was the close result in the Bridge ward.
Labour lost by 12 votes and asked for a recount.
“It is the one fly in the ointment of the evening,” he added.
“When I look back on it I feel as if it was a bad result as we did some work and got out there.
“On the eve of the election me and my wife were leafleting there with another couple activists, we knew we were close but we didn’t realise it would be around 10.”
Redbridge Labour Party are holding a celebratory party in Ilford on Sunday to thank all the activist, candidates and party members.
Leader of the Redbridge Conservative Group, Paul Canal said he congratulates Labour on their success.
“I am disappointed that so many excellent candidates and disappointed that so many excellent councillors did not regain their seat,” he said.
“I congratulate Redbridge Labour Party on their success and we will continue to work hard to hold the council to account in the best interest for residents in Redbridge.”
Following a well-deserved sleep, councillor Canal will be in talks with his party about the future of his leadership role.
Former leader of Redbridge Liberal Democrats, Councillor Gwyneth Deakins said her party needs to regroup following the elections and they have done it before and they will do it again.
“From our point of view it was disappointing, but that democracy and things turn around - as Lib Dems we bounce back,” she said.
“We had three councillors and we know don’t have any councillors.
“The next steps for me is to have a big breakfast a long bath and some sleep, but as a party, we need to regroup - we have done it before and we will do it again.”
Ms Deakins said the count was an “absolute shambles” with counters and candidates waiting around for hours.
“It was ridiculous, it went on and on - an absolute shambles,” she said.
“People were exhausted, the staff were exhausted, we spend longer hanging around a sports centre then we did going round in the election.
“That’s my main feeling, nevermind the result, the count was shambolic.”