Labour councillors elected in Chingford have said cuts to public services by the coalition government played a pivotal role in the party making gains in the Conservative stronghold.

Thursday's local election saw Labour retain control of Waltham Forest council, with the party securing two seats in Chingford wards - Valley and Hale End & Highams Park.

It was the first time in 16 years that a Labour candidate was elected in Valley ward.

Aktar Beg, a chartered surveyor and business manager of Koala Bear Day Nursery in Church Hill, Walthamstow, beat the sitting Conservative councillor, Laurance Wedderburn, to take the third seat.

With just 60 votes between them, councillor Beg said he felt "completely elated" and sees the win as a "chance for the party to break into Chingford".

He added: "When we were on the doorstep five months ago, 99 per cent of residents said they had no concern with the council.

"But we did come across complaints about welfare reforms affecting pensions, and people in the NHS raised national concerns about cuts to health services."

But Conservative group leader and councillor for Chingford Green, Matt Davis, insisted Labour's presence in Chingford would be temporary and blamed UKIP for the loss of seats.

He said: "Labour did not win the seats, UKIP gave them to them. UKIP split the vote and Labour steamed up the middle.

"There is no sudden enthusiasm for Labour in Chingford and we will be taking the seats back in four years time.

"I am disappointed we lost two councillors and that our party has lost its only Sikh councillor and one of two afro-Caribbean councillors."

Hale End and Highams Park ward saw the biggest turnout, with 43 per cent, and historically the ward has swayed between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

In 2006, the Lib Dems were elected and retained control in a 2008 by-election.

However, Labour's Tony Bell had the second highest number of votes in Thursday's election, beating Conservative councillor Paul Braham and replacing Darshan Singh Sunger. 

Councillor Davis put the win down to the Labour party gaining votes from disillusioned former Liberal Democrat voters.

Councillor Bell has lived in Highams Park for eight years and previously stood as a Labour candidate in Cann Hall ward during the 2002 election.

The A level history teacher believes the council is progressive and is doing a good job at managing government funding cuts.

He added: "I am very pleased to be representing the party locally and I hope to tackle issues such as speeding along Winchester Road.

"People are talking about national issues and they don't see the recovery in their pockets.

"Society is worse off under the Conservative party and those that previously voted Lib Dem has this time voted Labour.

"I will work hard with Sheree and Paul and we will unite around what's best for residents."