Two serving Wandsworth councillors have been recognised for their services to local government in the New Years honours list.

Councillor Martin Johnson, one of the borough's longest serving councillors, has been awarded an MBE and Councillor Kathy Tracey has been awarded an OBE.

December 30: Wandsworth councillor to become MBE in New Year's Honours list

Coun Johnson said: "I was surprised by the award, but I think it is recognition of the success of Wandsworth Council.

"I'm honoured to be part of what the council has done.

"It has raised the standard for local government over the last few decades.

"It has been interesting to see councils copying and following in the footsteps of Wandsworth on many issues.

"It has been innovative and trailblazing."

Coun Johnson, who was first elected to Wandsworth at the age of 21 in 1968, said the council faces financial challenges in the coming years, and must also get the relationship with Richmond right as it works with the council on shared portfolios.

In his time as a councillor, Coun Johnson has been Mayor twice, in 1980-81 and then in 1993-94 and has held the housing portfolio and been the deputy leader. 

He said the best part of being a councillor is "doing something that people welcome".

He said: "One of the best rewards is walking along Northcote Road and someone says thank you.

"That is what we are looking for."

Coun Kathy Tracey was first elected to the council in 1989, representing the Conservative Party. 

She has held several cabinet posts during her town hall career including the portfolio for regeneration and community safety, environment and leisure and education and children’s services.

Coun Tracey said: "It is a strangely humbling thing to happen - it is weird.

"It is really humbling to be recognised by colleagues who nominated me.

"I can take credit for introducing the orange bag recycling scheme when I was in environment, and for the regeneration of Wandsworth town which I am really proud of.

"It is fantastic to be there long enough to see them through to fruition."

Coun Tracey also said she was proud of the schools in the borough.

She said that the OBE is a recognition of the work of her colleagues too.

Coun Tracey said: "We are such a good team, we do not do anything on our own.

"It helps that we like each other.

"It makes so much difference and I am delighted to share the day with Martin and Marie who are both good friends of mine."

Coun Tracey said that protecting frontline services in the midst of budget cuts would be a key issue for the council in coming years, as well as providing enough affordable housing for future generations.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "I’m absolutely delighted for Marie, Kathy and Martin. 

"All three of them have been a hugely positive force in our local community for many years and have made a profound difference to so many of our residents’ lives.  

"Wandsworth is a better place thanks to their efforts and we owe them all a great debt of thanks. 

"They thoroughly deserve the recognition our country has given them."