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Leonie Alison Cooper is a British Labour & Co-operative Party politician. Since May 2016 she has represented Merton and Wandsworth on the London Assembly. She has served as a Councillor on the Wandsworth London Borough Council since 2006, representing Latchmere 2006-10 and Furzedown Ward from 2010 onwards.

Councillor

Leonie Cooper

Leonie Cooper, 2016 Labour Party Conference.jpg
Member of the London Assembly
for Merton and Wandsworth
Assumed office
7 May 2016
Preceded byRichard Tracey
Majority4,301
Wandsworth London Borough Councillor
for Furzedown
Assumed office
May 2006
Personal details
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour Co-operative Party
Alma materUniversity College London
ProfessionPolitician

BackgroundEdit

Cooper worked in the field of social housing, including as a Sustainability Manager for a large Housing group. Cooper is a Vice-President of the Putney and Roehampton Branch of the United Nations Association, and chairs the Wandsworth Co-op Party. She is active as a member of the Friends of Tooting Common, which she helped set up, and served as a Governor of Eardley Primary School 2010-2017. A National Executive member since 2009, she previously served as a Co-Chair of the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA), a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party.[1]

Political careerEdit

In the 1992 general election Cooper contested Hornchurch, coming second to the Conservative incumbent, Robin Squire.

Cooper was first elected to Wandsworth Borough Council in 2006, as a Councillor for the Latchmere Ward in Battersea. In 2010, she was elected as a Councillor for the Furzedown Ward in Tooting, re-elected in 2014. When Cooper was selected in 2009 for Furzedown it was a marginal Ward, with Conservative and Labour Councillors. Since 2010, Cooper has enjoyed the largest majority of any Wandsworth Labour Councillor, receiving more than three thousand votes in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

In 2008 and 2012, Cooper contested the Merton and Wandsworth Assembly seat, losing on both occasions to Richard Tracey, although achieving an increase in the Labour vote of 5.2% and 7.5% respectively. In May 2016, Cooper defeated the Conservative candidate to become the first Labour representative for Merton and Wandsworth since the establishment of the London Assembly.[2][3] This was the only Assembly seat to change hands in the May 2016 elections.

At the London Assembly Annual Meeting on 13 May 2016 Cooper was confirmed as the new Chair of the Assembly's Environment Committee 2016-18, and as a member of the Assembly's Housing Committee. Cooper was the first of the 2016 intake of Assembly Members to gain agreement for a single-member led investigation, producing her report on "Biodiversity in the new housing developments" in January 2017. The Environment Committee has already produced a number of reports under her leadership, on single-use plastic bottles, on domestic energy and fuel poverty and on parks and open spaces. These were all submitted to the Mayor prior to the launch of the Mayor's draft Environment Strategy in August 2017, and many of their recommendations now feature in it. In addition, the Mayor's draft London Plan refers to both net biodiversity gain and an Urban Greening Factor, both recommendations from Cooper's report on "Biodiversity in new housing developments".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Leonie Cooper". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ "London elections 2016: Labour's Leonie Cooper wins Merton and Wandsworth seat on London Assembly from the Tories". Wandsworth Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Labour's Leonie Cooper wins GLA seat for Merton & Wandsworth to end 16 years of Conservative control". South West Londoner. Retrieved 11 May 2016.