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Thursday, February 2, 2023

London elections 2022: Labour holds Southwark with 52 seats

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abour has held Southwark by winning 52 seats, while the Liberal Democrats won 11.

Marina Ahmad, Lambeth & Southwark Labour & Co-op London Assembly Member, said on Twitter: “Just finished Count 2 of 5 in Southwark. Brilliant results and Labour gained all 3 London Bridge and West Bermondsey seats. Whilst there heard the fantastic news about Labour’s hat trick in taking Wandsworth, Barnet and Westminster.”

Find our coverage leading up to the election results below.

Key Issues

Among the key issues for voters in Southwark will be council housing, as a large proportion of residents rent from the local authority.

The council’s policy of ‘infilling’, whereby the council builds new homes on already-existing estates, has proved controversial, as some residents have complained of loss of green space and privacy.

The issue led to the resignation of the council’s then-estates boss, Cllr Leo Pollak, from cabinet in 2021, as he was found to be running an anonymous Twitter account in which he criticised those opposed to the schemes.

Those who have backed the move argue that the council faces an extensive waiting list for council homes and that it is expensive to build them on land it does not already own.

Also controversial has been the council’s roll-out of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in many parts of the borough since Covid.

While fans have praised them for promoting cleaner air and active travel, critics have accused the schemes as being poorly designed and contributing to traffic congestion.

Crime and antisocial behaviour will also be a key consideration for many voters, with many of the candidates campainging on making streets safer.

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

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Details

Southwark returned a comfortable Labour majority at the last local elections in May 2018, and the council has been in Labour control since 2010.

Ahead of Thursday’s elections, the council has 47 Labour councillors, 14 Liberal Democrat councillors, one Independent councillor, and one vacant seat after a councillor resigned.

The council is led by Labour’s Cllr Kieron Williams, who took over the post when the borough’s leader of ten years, Cllr Peter John, stood down in 2020.

Cllr Hamish McCallum is the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group.

The Conservatives have no representation anywhere in Southwark, having narrowly lost Dulwich Village ward to Labour in 2018. Turnout at the 2018 elections was 33.6%.

Demographics

Southwark had a population of around 314,000 people as of 2018, with its population almost seven years younger than the national average.

The borough is one of the most densely populated and diverse boroughs in the country.

According to a 2018 assessment, just over half (54%) of its population was of white ethnicity, a quarter (25%) black, and a third of Asian (11%) or other (10%) ethnicities.

In addition, according to the Trust for London, there is a greater-than-average amount of income deprivation in Southwark, with the average neighbourhood 50% more income deprived than an average neighbourhood in London.

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