THE newly elected Barnet councillors have vowed to show a commitment to their communities after a strong result at the by-elections.

Both Alison Cornelius and Darrel Yawitch won their respective wards of Totteridge and Edgware by a majority of about 2,000 votes, each gaining more than 60 per cent of the ballots cast.

They will now take up their roles on the council and have pledged to carry out their work to the benefit of all the residents in their areas.

Mrs Cornelius has lived in Totteridge for 28 years and admitted she would only want to run for election in that ward.

She said: “I have been quite involved with the community and through living in the area I have met an amazing amount of people.

“I know what upsets people in Totteridge and what they like about the area, as well as what their needs are and what things they would like to preserve.”

It is the first time she has formally entered the political arena, although she has fulfilled council duties with her husband Richard, who was elected as councillor for Totteridge in 2006.

She said it was through attending a variety of community events over the years in the capacity of councillor's wife, that she got the taste for council work.

“As the wife of a councillor I was on the periphery of things, but it gave me a huge overview of the borough and the organisations, the people, as well as the schools, that operate in it, and the variety is fantastic.

“I hope it will be a mutual agreement about the roles I take up on the council and I get to use my skills to the best of my ability.”

She also said there would be no problems from working with her husband of 30 years.

She said: “We have always worked very as a team and I don't envisage any problems.

“Now if anyone phones the house with a council issue, I can take action myself without having to report it back to Richard.”

Mr Yawitch admitted he felt there was still not a great awareness of the functions of the council but said he would work to engage with the residents of Edgware.

He said: “I am looking forward to serving with my fellow councillors and working on my election pledges.

“Having lived in the area I know the day to day experiences of the residents, so I know the important issues in the community.”

An Edgware resident for more than nine years, Mr Yawitch is a founding member and vice chairman of the governors at Edgware Jewish Primary School. He said one of his main priorities was to fight to keep the hospital units and services in Barnet that are threatened with closure.

He also roused a chorus of cheers from fellow Tory councillors when taking a shot at the Labour governement in his inauguration speech.

He said: “Edgware has spoken very clearly and so lets have a general election very soon. The pressure is on the whole of the Labour party.”