A man is hoping to become the first Gurkha to win a seat on Barnet Council following local elections on May 3.

Lachhya Gurung, 56, is contesting the Hale Ward for the Conservatives – and having served his country for 18 years, he wants to bring his experience to bear on the local community.

Mr Gurung, from Burnt Oak, joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 1980 and retired after 18 years of service in the rank of staff sergeant.

He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1995, in recognition of his service to the British Crown.

Mr Gurung said: “I served the country and the Queen, so I want to serve the community and make a difference to the quality of other people’s lives and prospects.

“I want to serve the Nepalese community, and other communities, too. The London borough of Barnet is multi-faith and multi-cultural.

“My first priority will be to make sure residents get the right services, and also, if I get elected, I want to get involved in shaping the future of the local community.”

A Barnet resident for 13 years, Mr Gurung is chairman of the Burnt Oak Nepalese Community, where he has helped newly arrived former Gurkhas and their families to settle in the UK.

He was awarded the Barnet Civic Award by the council in 2012, in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards promoting communal harmony and collective spirit through community engagement.

Mr Gurung’s aims include maintaining the borough’s weekly bin collection, keeping council tax low, and investing more in street cleaning and maintenance.

He also pledged to “fight the Labour mayor’s police cuts”, as well as alleged plans to build new homes in people’s back gardens – a claim Mr Khan has denied.

While the Conservative government in Westminster is often blamed for council cutbacks, Mr Gurung is adamant that his aims could be achieved against a backdrop of austerity.

He said he had received a positive response from people on the doorstep, who tend to be concerned about local issues such as crime, potholes and police station closures.

“In terms of policing, we in Barnet are paying more than other boroughs but getting less police – that is why we are fighting with mayor Khan,” Mr Gurung said. “I think we are directly affected by the mayor’s cuts, as opposed to central government.”

Mr Gurung was also confident the Conservative group could retain control of the council despite recent deselections and in-fighting within the party.

“I think that we can win, because the Conservatives are delivering their promises,” he said. “We [The Conservatives] have practical policies, as opposed to Labour. They promise a lot of good things, but they usually can’t deliver.”

Councillor Dan Thomas, deputy leader of Barnet Council and chairman of Hendon Conservatives, said: “Hendon is home to a vibrant Nepalese community that has strong links to the local area and the British Army.

“Lachhya has served the community and our country with distinction and will be a dedicated, hard-working councillor if elected, not to mention Barnet’s first Gurkha councillor.”