James Cracknell reports from the election count in Walthamstow
Labour has retained control of Waltham Forest Council in a largely uneventful local election.
The ruling Labour administration ended the night winning 46 out of the 60 seats available in the borough, two more than they achieved at the last poll in 2014.
Highams Park and Hale End ward provided the only drama of the night, where the opposition Conservatives lost their two seats. Labour also re-gained a seat in Higham Hill, where an independent candidate who had previously represented the party lost out.
It means more of the same in Waltham Forest, with the result likely to have negligible impact on council policy.
Councillor Clare Coghill, who was fighting her first election as council leader, spoke to the Echo after the results were announced at Walthamstow Assembly Hall in the early hours of Friday morning. She said: “I’m delighted with the result.
“I am very pleased and very proud of the team – everyone has worked hard. The reality is that we used to be scrapping around to win by small majorities but that is now what we have left the Tories to do.
“[Chingford MP] Iain Duncan Smith should be very worried about his [parliamentary] seat in the next general election. We will be intent on taking it.”
The election result represents another solid victory for Labour in Waltham Forest, but the Tories have still retained a foothold at the town hall, with 14 out of 60 seats. Councillor Alan Siggers, the Conservative group leader, told the Echo: “I think it is important this council has an opposition.
“This is London and it is not like the rest of the country, where Conservatives have gained. But we are still here and we will still hold the council to account.”
The smaller parties generally failed to make inroads, with the third-placed Liberal Democrats unable to mount a serious challenge in any of the wards where they held seats as recently as four years ago.
The Green Party were in fourth place in terms of vote share. Steve Lambert, who won more votes than the Lib Dems in Hoe Street ward, told the Echo: “I think we have had encouraging results considering our limited resources.”
Turnout for the election was 37.9 percent.
This article was amended on 5th May to remove a reference to an incorrect turnout figure for the 2014 local election.
Local Election 2018: Ward winners (turnout percentage)
Cann Hall (33.9)
Keith Rayner (Lab), Sally Littlejohn (Lab), Patrick Edwards (Lab)
Naheed Asghar (Lab), Jonathan O’Dea (Lab), Terry Wheeler (Lab)
Chapel End (35.2)
Paul Douglas (Lab), Louise Mitchell (Lab), Steve Terry (Lab)
Chingford Green (43.5)
Kay Isa (Con), Nick Helebi (Con), Andy Hemsted (Con)
Roy Berg (Con), Emma Best (Con), Mitchell Goldie (Con)
Gerry Lyons (Lab), Shabana Dhedi (Lab), Kastriot Berberi (Lab)
Grove Green (34.9)
Chris Robbins (Lab), Khevyn Limbajee (Lab), Anna Mbachu (Lab)
Hale End and Highams Park (48.8)
Tony Bell (Lab), Rosalind Dore (Lab), Zia-Ur Rehman (Lab)
Hatch Lane (41.8)
Tim James (Con), Geoff Walker (Con), Marion Fitzgerald (Con)
High Street (37.2)
Claire Coghill (Lab), Liaquat Ali (Lab), Raja Anwar (Lab)
Higham Hill (33.3)
Karen Bellamy (Lab), Alistair Strathern (Lab), Hather Ali (Lab)
Hoe Street (36.4)
Saima Mahmud (Lab), Tom Connor (Lab), Ahsan Khan (Lab)
John Moss (Con), Selina Seesunkur (Con), Catherine Saumarez (Con)
Lea Bridge (32.0)
Yemi Osho (Lab), Mohammad Asghar (Lab), Masood Ahmad (Lab)
Simon Miller (Lab), Whitney Ihenachor (Lab), Jacob Edwards (Lab)
Marie Pye (Lab), Clyde Loakes (Lab), Jenny Gray (Lab)
Johar Khan (Lab), Asim Mahmood (Lab), Sharon Waldron (Lab)
Alan Siggers (Con), Jemma Hemsted (Con), Elizabeth Baptiste (Lab)
William Morris (37.0)
Umar Ali (Lab), Grace Williams (Lab), Joe Lacey-Holland (Lab)
Wood Street (38.6)
Ros Flowers (Lab), Vicky te Velde (Lab), Richard Sweden (Lab)
A full list of results from the local election will be available on the Waltham Forest Council website.