Hackney mayor by-election: Philip Glanville brushes off poor turnout and reveals housing plans

Mayor Philip Glanville outside the town hall. (Picture: Garty Manhine).

Mayor Philip Glanville outside the town hall. (Picture: Garty Manhine). - Credit: Archant

New mayor Philip Glanville has promised to start work immediately on making Hackney the first London borough to build 500 homes at the living rent.

Speaking to the Gazette after his victory, the former housing boss wasted no time in getting down to work and brushed off the poor 18.6 per cent turnout.

The Hoxton councillor, 36, received 22,595 of the 32,778 votes – 69 per cent.

“It’s a fantastic result,” he said. “I’m humbled by the task ahead and now work starts on delivering my manifesto.

“Clearly the people have spoken and the large Labour vote suggests it was other voters deciding to stay at home.

“It was a very short campaign over the summer and it’s never going to be an easy time to have a by-election, but the history of voting in Hackney shows a steadily improving turnout that we hope will continue.”

Next week Philip will start work on creating a company within the town hall that allows it to offer private tenancy as he focuses on his London Living Rent pledge, which will be delivered within two years. Under the scheme, tenants will pay no more than a third of their income on rent.

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He’s also pledged to double the number of council homes built in that time.

To help him deliver his promises, he will appoint two mayoral advisors, one for private sector housing and one for homeless advice services, within the next week.

“There’s five issues [in housing],” he said. “Rough sleeping, homelessness, council housing, private renting and those wanting to buy, and I will very much keep the focus on house building and the important issues around the services we provide.”

As housing chief, he delivered 1,670 new homes for rent, shared ownership and low-cost ownership.

He added: “Housing is the number one priority for so many people in Hackney. Too many of us are being priced out, too many are languishing on the waiting list for council homes, living in poor private rented accommodation and far too many desperate families are struggling in temporary accommodation.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to date, but a key theme of my mayoralty will be to build on our record and do so much more.”

Another of his policies was to create a childcare bursary.

“It involves expanding the number of people that can be childminders and creating employment opportunities,” he said.

“It could be people who may have been childminders before and have no longer got the qualifications or people who have always wanted to do it. It will get more people into a growing industry.”

Philip will make announcements on his cabinet on Monday and Tuesday, and revealed his plans to shake things up.

“I want to improve the diversity and range of people involved,” he said. “And I also want to make it more accessible in terms of mayor’s advice surgeries and Q and A sessions – which will improve political engagement.”

The results were announced shortly after 12pm.

Green candidate Samir Jeraj came second with 4,338 votes (13pc), followed by Tory Amy Gray who won 3,533 (11pc).

Lib Dem Dave Raval won 1,818 (6pc) while bringing up the rear was Dawa Ma from the One Love party with 494 votes (2pc). The people who backed Dawa had maybe done so before she urged people not to vote for her last night on Twitter.

Some have blamed voter fatigue for the poor turnout, which fell from 70,000 when Jules Pipe was re-elected two years ago to 32,778.