The agendas set out by the candidates ahead of the mayoral election this month are in some ways very similar.

All say they want more affordable housing, for example, and most have mentioned cycling and/or air quality.

Though there are obvious clashes in realms such as education, the political coalescence around certain areas of interest means there is no doubt which complaints are being heard loudest by those who would lead us.

The tone for the next mayoralty is already becoming clear, therefore, and with the exception of the One Love party – which thinks big even if many of its policies are in practice unlikely to be deliverable by a local council – the candidates’ strategies are, if anything, remarkably modest given the scale of population growth set to take place in Hackney and pressures this will bring.

Jules Pipe, who served as mayor from 2002 until June of this year, oversaw big changes and was a decent, competent manager.

But he could sometimes seem too technocratic and distant.

Whoever the next mayor is needs to tackle the big issues whilst also delivering on the obvious things – like being a visible, accessible, democratically accountable political leader of our borough.

For more on the election, follow our coverage on

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