Hackney mayor by-election: What will the candidates do for you?

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people across Hackney will head to the polling stations today to cast their votes for the new mayor. Ahead of their big day, the candidates told the Gazette their top three pledges and a bit about themselves.

Cllr Glanville

Cllr Glanville - Credit: Archant


I’ve been a campaigning councillor for the last 10 years – fighting to build a better, fairer and more sustainable Hackney.

Top of my agenda is building more genuinely affordable homes. I’ll double the number the council builds and ensure at least 500 are at the London Living Rent.

I’ll build the new schools we need and provide better support for families – introducing a Hackney childcare bursary to increase provision and affordability of local childcare.

I’ll defend our frontline services, like libraries and Homerton hospital, from damaging Tory cuts. I passionately believe with me as Mayor we can build a Hackney that works for everyone.

I’m 36 and currently deputy mayor having previously been cabinet member for housing. I’m a lifelong campaigner and have worked for an HIV charity in Old Street and in various roles in Parliament.

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I was born in Hillingdon, moving to Worcester aged eight, before moving back to London in 1999 to go to university. I’ve been a private renter in Hackney since 2003 and live with my husband of five and a half years. When I have spare time I enjoy Hackney’s cultural and culinary scene.

Lib Dem candidate Dave Raval

Lib Dem candidate Dave Raval - Credit: Archant


Dave is the first ever candidate in the UK to support moreunited.uk, a new citizen-led campaign aiming to promote moderate, progressive politicians working together.

He’s promised to appoint deputies from other parties to his town hall team and to devolve power to communities.

Dave is also committed to policies for a fair economy, closing the gap between the rich and poor, building homes, supporting strong public services and protecting our environment.

Finally, Dave, who was a key Remain campaigner in June, will continue to fight for the rights of foreign citizens here in the country, and for the closest possible ties with the EU.

Dave is London born and bred, but has also lived in Germany and the USA with work. He has been in east London for 18 years and is a long-standing Hackney resident, living in Amhurst Road.

In 2010 he stood as the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch, coming second.

He is also the CEO of a green start-up business, used to referee football at semi-professional level and is an Arsenal fan. He is married.

Samir Jeraj

Samir Jeraj - Credit: Archant


I pledge to radically overhaul how Hackney’s budget is decided if I am elected, giving residents a say in how their taxes are spent.

The “participatory budget” idea is modelled on radical local governments in Brazil, and now used by over 1500 local governments around the world, like New York City Council. I would start the Hackney scheme with £1m and then to build it up to £5m by 2020.

I would also improve housing conditioners for renters by licensing landlords. This has been done in all of Newham and parts of Brent and Bristol.

Renters here face some of the worst and most insecure housing conditions at the highest costs.

I want to use the power the council has to take down bad landlords, make them accountable for their actions, and bring homes up to standard for Hackney’s residents.

I would also divest from fossil fuels and draw up a “Big Green Energy Plan” with residents, including support for local energy co-ops and access to housing insulation schemes. I would seek to bring together groups from across Hackney to discuss how we can work together strategically, establish practical projects using council-owned buildings and land.

Amy Gray

Amy Gray - Credit: Archant


My three priorities are based on building the best possible future for the people of Hackney. I live in Clapton, used to teach in Stamford Hill, go to church near Mare Street and am a governor of a primary school in Hoxton.

We need more affordable housing built, urgently. The council has been too slow to recognise the urgency of this matter and has left prime sites undeveloped for years. We need affordable family homes, delivered in partnership with a wide range of organisations from housing associations to Community Land Trusts – and these need to be high-density, mid-rise buildings.

We need enough good school places for our children. We can get the places we need if we welcome more free schools and academies into the borough, rather than feeling that the council needs to be providing all the places. The plan I’ll publish in my first six months will identify the sites we can use and current schools that can be expanded.

Crime rates in Hackney are 10 per cent higher than London as a whole. I’ll work with police, businesses and customers in the night-time economy to protect them, and with the police to tackle bike thefts and burglary.

Dawa Ma

Dawa Ma - Credit: Archant


The Gazette has not heard from Dawa personally despite attempts to contact her, but Ankit Love, who set up the One Love party for which she is standing, told us he believes “she is the first French person to ever stand for election in an English Mayoral election”.

“This is in part to protest the EU referendum in which Commonwealth citizens could vote on the future faith of EU citizens who were barred from voting,” he said.

“I believe this is in violation of EU citizen rights as legally protected by the Lisbon Treaty. If we win, we will conduct our own second advisory EU referendum in Hackney that will include EU citizens plus 16- and 17-year-olds who will be most affected and are listed on the electoral roll and could also vote in the Scottish Referendum.”

He added: “Our prime issue remains the air pollution pandemic that is the biggest killer in the UK, where 50,000 die each year according to the latest MP’s report on the issue. If we win, we will ban all fossil fuel cars from Hackney to protect our children and bill the government for what it costs citizens and businesses here because they are now in violation of their legal responsibilities under a Supreme Court judgement. This should trigger national change on the issue and Hackney will be remembered for the most important revolution in Britain and actually the world.”