London elections 2022: Labour holds Merton with 29 seats

·2-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Labour has held Merton with 29 seats.

The Liberal Democrats won 17 while the Conservatives won six. The Residents Association won two seats on the council.

Labour has controlled Merton council since 2014, but this election was slightly different from others after a boundary review reduced the number of councillors and reshaped some wards.

Find our coverage leading up to the election results below.

Key Issues

In Merton, Labour has campaigned on a platform of opening a new school for SEND children, reviewing business rates and planning rules to support the local economy, and upgrading CCTV and street lighting.

Among the Conservatives’ campaign pledges are opposition to the expansion of ULEZ to the borough, revitalising the borough’s town centres, and to oppose the closure of Wimbledon Police station.

Some of the key issues in the borough are waste collections and the status of St Helier hospital in Carshalton, which serves local residents.

Labour has campaigned on what it calls the “vital loss of services” at St Helier, amid plans to change it to a district hospital and build a new emergency care centre in Sutton.

The Conservatives have previously weclomed the change saying it will provide “extensive new facilities” for residents and investment.

With some residents dubbing the borough ‘Mucky Merton’, Labour has pledged a consultation on waste services, while the Tories have vowed to negotiate a better contract at the first opportunity.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are standing on a platform of tackling the cost-of-living crisis and tackling air pollution in the borough, among other issues.

Read more: Follow the Standard’s coverage of the 2022 local elections (ES)
Read more: Follow the Standard’s coverage of the 2022 local elections (ES)

Details

Merton Council is Labour-led heading into Thursday’s election, but voters will elect fewer councillors this time around after a boundary review, which will see the total number of councillors drop from 60 to 57.

Labour’s 33 seats means it holds a slender majority, with the remaining seats split between the Conservatives, (17), Liberal Democrats (6), and three Merton Park Ward Independent councillors.

One seat is vacant in the Graveney ward following the resignation of then-Cabinet minister, Toby Byers, earlier this year.

The current leader of council is Cllr Mark Allison, while the leader of the opposition Conservatives group is Cllr Nick McClean.

Demographics

In 2021 Merton had an estimated resident population of 212,882. Merton’s population is similar to the overall age distribution of London as whole, which is younger than the national average.

Socioeconomic deprivation in Merton is lower than average compared to both London and England.

According to the Trust for London, it has an average rate of children who are living in households in poverty, and homeless acceptances, temporary accommodation and rough sleeping are all better than average.

In 2021, 37% of people in Merton were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, lower than the 43.7% for London as a whole.

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