Woodberry Down by-election 2021: All your candidates in one place
Ed Sheridan, Local Democracy reporter
- Credit: West Reservoir Centre
Woodberry Down voters in the London Mayoral elections on May 6 will also be able to vote in a by-election for a council seat in their ward.
The race for Woodberry Down is for the seat vacated by former transport chief Cllr Jon Burke, who resigned after moving out of the borough to spend more time with his family.
Below is a list of the candidates on offer in 2021.
Alice Bennett, Greens
Bennett, who is a communications manager for an international social enterprise, has voiced her solidarity with the Happy Man Tree campaign, challenging the Town Hall as to why it “painted the campaigners as holding up the building of council homes."
Bennett has argued for the extension of the life of a home for as long as possible due to the amount of carbon emissions stemming from construction, and if elected would work for a prioritisation of council housing over luxury flats while protecting mature trees.
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The Green candidate said: “It is true that there is an overwhelming need for council housing in Hackney. But Woodberry Down is not a brownfield site: in the regeneration project, blocks of council flats are being replaced with mostly private, market-rate housing, a small number of ‘affordable’ shared ownership properties and new council flats.
"So far, there has been a loss of 453 socially rented homes across the estate since 2002.”
Ari Feferkorn, Conservatives
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Businessman and kosher hospital food charity founder Feferkorn has pledged if elected to serve residents with “energy and resolve,” branding Town Hall road closure plans as “not fit for purpose.”
The Conservative candidate is also calling for all shared spaces, including Manor House underground station, to have disabled access, argues for the roll back of fortnightly bin collections, would work for the planting of a tree in memory of the Happy Man Tree as part of his goal of “cleaner, more welcoming parks,” and opposes the narrowing of Seven Sisters Road to four lanes.
Feferkorn said: “Over the past few years, we have had to sit back and watch as our elected officials ignore our views, our criticisms, and our voices. As a community, we have spoken out about matters that mean something to us, and we have been obstructed and ignored.
"I want to be your voice, someone who solves the problems and resolves the issues. My aim is to bring people together and find solutions.”
Alton Hassan, Liberal Democrats
Former actor and digital infrastructure manager Hassan has laid out his stall in Woodberry Down with a call for regeneration projects to be “resident-led and not just the vision of a property developer,” criticising the Town Hall for the felling of the Happy Man Tree and pledging if elected to “not let residents get pushed around by developers or the Labour-run council.”
The Liberal Democrat candidate also argued for more creativity in the building of homes, and for more consideration in converting a renovating existing spaces, while considering the impact on the environment from big regeneration projects.
Hassan said: “We need to be much more demanding with these projects and make sure we are building far more council homes so that local people can benefit from improved housing and not get pushed out by unaffordable rents.
"Hackney Council’s record on this is really poor with figures showing that since 2003 there has been a net loss of 1392 social rent homes as a result of regeneration schemes in the borough. It’s no wonder why people feel their communities are being eroded.”
Sarah Young, Labour
Woodberry Down’s Labour candidate works in the housing sector, and has called for “more social housing, more genuinely affordable housing and safe decent homes for all” as part of her campaign.
Sarah Young, who has also been a trustee for Hackney Winter Night Shelter and a school governor, is also arguing for more play space for children, support for young people, and better public transport to help bring about cleaner air.
She said: “I’m a proud Hackney resident and my three kids went to local schools.
"I’ve campaigned for council housing, education, clean air, funding for services and local people’s rights for many years.
"I’ll use my skills and experience to work for the community, listen to your views and help residents secure the homes, services and environment you deserve in Woodberry Down.”
Find the most recent results for the ward from the 2018 London local elections by clicking here.