Hackney mayor election: 'Housing crisis' and education on voters' minds as borough goes to the polls

The Hackney mayoral election, following the resignation of Philip Glanville, will take place on Thursday (November 9).
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Housing, green spaces, education and dogs are among the priorities for Hackney residents as they go to the polls this week.

An election for a new mayor for the borough takes place on Thursday (November 9) after Labour's Philip Glanville resigned in September.

Hackney is one of the few London boroughs overseen by an elected mayor, and six candidates are in the running for the role.

LondonWorld took to London Fields and Stoke Newington's Church Street to ask people what they think the priorities should be for Hackney’s next leader.

Housing

One young person raised an issue that is on the minds of many in London, saying: "As a tenant, I'm concerned about Hackney's housing crisis. New flats have been promised to families and affordable housing have not delivered.

"During my search for a flat, I visited several properties with the same agent. Surprisingly, there were around 40 other individuals interested in those properties at the same time. It's worth noting that I even met some familiar faces from previous viewings, highlighting that high demand.

"The estate agents then advised us to consider bidding at least £200 above the asking price due to the ongoing competitive nature of the housing market.”

Dogs

Another resident raised Hackney Council's proposals to expand the areas in which dogs must be kept on leads, saying: “Though I’ve never voted, and don’t think it’ll make a difference, if there was one thing I would change, it would be a greater focus on fostering interest in dog walkers, and dog owners.

"There are many dogs in Hackney, and as a dog walker myself, new policies such as having all dogs on leads in Abney Cemetery, or limiting dog walkers to having a maximum of four dogs will significantly affect my work.”

Curtain Road, Hackney. (Photo by André Langlois)Curtain Road, Hackney. (Photo by André Langlois)
Curtain Road, Hackney. (Photo by André Langlois)

The environment

One of the big talking points in Hackney in recent years has been the expansion of low-traffic neighbourhood schemes (LTNs), but some say there are other environmental issues that need addressing.

A resident said: “In addition to LTNs, I believe we need more funding for ecology and rewilding parks. There is so little space for wildlife as it is. Though there is wildlife in London, it struggles because it doesn’t have the protections that it needs or the habitat spaces.”

Education

One woman stressed the importance of education, saying: “I’m a mother with a young child, and I do music with children in a children's centre in hackney.

"Plus, being a temporary TA (teaching assistant) in schools, I think there needs to be more emphasis on children with special educational needs, in addition to more funding to expose them to the music and arts sector in schools, in a way to help them communicate.”

Hackney mayor by-election date and time

The by-election will take place on Thursday November 9 2023. Polls are open between 7am and 10pm.

Visit Hackney Council's website for full details.

Hackney mayor by-election November 9 2023

The following candidates are standing in the Hackney by-election:

De Deney, Simon - Liberal Democrats

Garbett, Zoë - Green Party

Smorthit, Peter - Independent

Steinberger, Simche - The Conservative and Unionist Party Candidate

Valent, Annoesjka - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Woodley, Caroline Rebecca - Labour Party Candidate

Labour scandal

Mr Glanville was forced to stand down after a photograph emerged of him at a Eurovision party along with disgraced Labour councillor Tom Dewey.

At the time, Dewey had been arrested on suspicion of possession of child abuse images. He has since pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of indecent images of children and been handed a 12-month suspended sentence.