Harefield Gazette

Problems mound up for Tories



THE Conservati­ves have lost Westminste­r City Council for the first time in its 58-year history.

The result is a further blow to the Tories, who had also lost control of Barnet and Wandsworth councils to Labour early on Friday morning.

Labour had promised to build more homes and freeze council tax in Westminste­r.

Voters appear to have been ultimately swayed by the Partygate scandal inside Number 10, the cost of living crisis and, locally, the £6 million Marble Arch Mound fiasco.

Across the borough, a total of 162 candidates battled it out for 54 seats across 18 wards over issues such as antisocial behaviour, the future of Oxford Street and protecting the borough’s schools.

Voters were also considerin­g how each party would deal with bad landlords and rogue letting agents.

Both main political parties had also promoted policies to make Central London safer at night – particular­ly for women.

Westminste­r City Council had been held by the Tories since it was first formed in 1964 and the council currently has the lowest council tax in the country at just £866 per year. According to Labour, Westminste­r residents were furious about the Marble Arch Mound tourist attraction, which ended up costing three times its budget, and other voters felt they could not trust the Tories after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fined for breaking Covid rules at the height of the pandemic.

Previously the Conservati­ves had over twice as many councillor­s (41) as Labour (19).

This time around, the number of wards in the borough has decreased from 20 to 18, and the total number of councillor­s decreased from 60 to 54.

 ?? ?? The Marble Arch Mound proved to be a massive flop with tourists
The Marble Arch Mound proved to be a massive flop with tourists

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