Cooper in 2016
|Member of the London Assembly |
for Merton and Wandsworth
|Assumed office |
7 May 2016
|Preceded by||Richard Tracey|
|Wandsworth London Borough Councillor|
|Assumed office |
|Born||27 December 1959|
|Political party||Labour Co-operative Party|
|Alma mater||University College London|
Leonie Alison Cooper (born 27 Dec 1959) 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.
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.
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. This was the only constituency 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".
Cooper currently serves as Chair of the London Assembly's Economy Committee, and Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee. She is the London Assembly Labour Group's lead spokesperson on the economy. In June 2019, she launched a new report, 'Running Out or Flooded Out?', investigating the impact of water leaks, drought and flooding on London.
- Leonie Cooper AM [@LeonieC] (27 December 2017). "Some sort of occasion today?!! Thankxxx to everyone for your lovely birthday wishes, been a lovely day so far!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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