King’s Park by-election 2021: All your candidates in one place
Ed Sheridan, Local Democracy reporter
- Credit: Archant
King’s Park voters in the London Mayoral elections on May 6 will be able to vote in a by-election for a council seat in their ward.
The race for King’s Park is for the seat vacated by Labour’s former mental health champion Tom Rahilly, who stood down after he took a job precluding him from serving in an elected post.
Below is a list of the candidates on offer in 2021.
Clair Battaglino, Independent
Community gardener Battaglino is standing on an anti-Low Traffic Neighbourhoods platform, slamming the policy for its “social injustice” and arguing that traffic has been funnelled onto already busy roads with high proportions of social housing.
The independent candidate, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher, has also called for a refurbishment and regeneration approach to planning rather than ‘knocking everything down,’ and has urged action to clean up the River Lea.
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Battaglino said: “My green credentials are unquestionable. The council loves to stereotype residents opposed to LTNs and road closures, as a selfish, car-obsessed minority. That’s not true of the group and it’s certainly not true of me. I don’t even own a car! There is no place for the acceptance of policies that foster environmental inequality where the lives of children are concerned.”
Naomi Byron, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
The TUSC has challenged Labour candidates both to match their uncompromising stance in pledging to refuse to vote for any cuts in local government, and on their position on the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party.
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The Hackney branch of the TUSC has pledged to “fight for the money stolen from Hackney by this Tory government to be returned to fund the local services people in Hackney need.”
Naomi Byron, TUSC candidate for King’s Park, said: “We need councillors who will lead a fight to win the money taken from Hackney Council back from this government of the rich.”
Peter Jones, Hackney Green Party
Book publisher Peter Jones is running on a platform of accountability over the protection of social housing, as well as calling for the cessation of development on Hackney Marshes and demanding that the Town Hall “sorts out the current mess with rubbish collection and recycling.”
He is a former trustee of Abney Park, helped organise two Pride marches in Hackney, and has accused the council of focusing too much on the wealthier parts of the borough and “taking the vote in Homerton and King’s Park for granted.”
Jones added: “Given that the current council is made up of 52 Labour and 5 Conservative, the last thing that Hackney needs is another Labour councillor.”
Ben Mathis, Independent
The environment, housing and opportunities for young people are at the heart of this campaign, with Mathis speaking out over pollution in the River Lea, warning of cuts to local schools, and accusing Labour of “breaking promises on building affordable homes.”
The former Liberal Democrat (who was suspended from the party in the last general election in a row over past statements made by him on social media) describes himself as a “progressive, centrist, liberal… take your pick,” and is calling for greater political plurality in the Labour-run council.
Mathis said: “Most of all, I want every voter in King’s Park to know that this by-election really does matter and that they have a real choice. An Independent local councillor with his own mind and his own voice could help our community be heard at the Town Hall – and that would be good for everybody.”
Sandy N’kolomoni, Hackney Conservatives
N’kolomoni is the local Conservative party’s data officer, and has said she feels passionate about women’s representation in politics.
Elizabeth Prochaska, Liberal Democrats
A barrister and human rights campaigner, Prochaska has said she wants to be a “strong and experienced voice” on the council to stand up for quality education for children from all backgrounds, pledging to focus on catch-up support for teachers and schools, access to devices and community youth support if elected.
Elizabeth Prochaska is a barrister and human rights campaigner who has lived in Hackney for 12 years. She ran the legal team at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and set up her own human rights charity.
Having served as a school governor, the Lib Dem candidate has also spoken of the need to protect provision for children with SEND due to its inadequate funding by central government.
Prochaska said: “Covid has really brought inequality into sharp focus in our borough, and with schools being closed for so long during the pandemic, there could be a serious negative impact on our children’s future- particularly from more disadvantaged households where home schooling and access to learning resources is limited.”
Lynne Troughton, Labour & Co-operative
Parent and grandparent Lynne has lived in the ward for 30 years, with her campaign saying that she “actively takes up residents’ concerns to make King’s Park a better place to live.”
Troughton chairs the ward panel addressing crime and anti-social behaviour, organises neighbourhood groups and co-ordinates food bank collections.
Hackney Labour said: “She is passionate about social justice and the environment and will campaign for better housing. Her ambition is to be a voice for residents and make King’s Park the best it can be.”
Find the most recent results for the ward from the 2018 London local elections by clicking here.