De Beauvoir by-election: Six candidates vying for votes ahead of polling tomorrow

Polling station credit Martin Deutsch

Turnout tomorrow is not expected to be high. Photograph: Martin Deutsch

Political eyes will be on De Beauvoir ward tomorrow as voters head out to the polls for again for a by-election.

It was prompted by the resignation of Labour councillor Tom Dewey less than two weeks after May’s local elections.

A party spokesman told the Citizen the resignation was due to “personal reasons”.

Whoever wins the seat will represent the ward along with Labour’s Polly Billington.

The turnout in De Beauvoir was 33.36 per cent in May, and Town Hall watchers do not expect it to be high for the by-election.

Candidates have spoken of residents’ concerns about the cost of living and crime.

According to a 2018 health needs assessment, there were 8,900 De Beauvoir residents in 2016 – up from 8,494 in 2011.

The Women’s Equality Party’s candidate is Kristal Bayliss. The party has been active in Hackney since 2017 and campaigns on local gender equality issues.

Theses include concerns over the strip-search of a Black school girl by police, and making the streets safe.

Law student Oliver Hall is running as the Conservative candidate. In May, he ran for the post of directly elected mayor and for a council seat in Hoxton West.

He is a student champion for the Conservative Policy Forum and a Covid vaccine volunteer.

He is opposed to new low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), and would consult residents to see if existing LTNs should be removed. He feels they “are not the answer to fixing the climate crisis”.

Liberal Democrat hopeful Thrusie Maurseth-Cahill wants to put forward the views of residents to prevent “the people most affected” being left behind, and she pledged to make them aware of opportunities to have their voices heard.

Her priorities include threats to bus routes, which could lead to “diminished services”, the cost-of-living crisis, crime and the environment.

Kelly Reid is the Independent Network candidate and previously stood in Clissold. The youth worker at the Crib wants to offer an alternative voice to the Labour-controlled council.

“It is really important that the voices of residents are heard,” she said. “I will continue to advocate for them.”

She also wants an independent review of low traffic neighbourhoods and more work done to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime in De Beauvoir, as well as a reduction in the number of school exclusions.

Green candidate Tyrone Scott also has experience of campaigning in local elections. He stood in Dalston and is also in the running in the national Green Party’s deputy leadership contest.

In De Beauvoir, he aims to champion clean air policies, clamp down on crime and improve the speed of housing repairs.

He said some residents think that when they are consulted by the council, “it’s already been decided”, and he wants to work with them.

Labour’s Joe Walker, who also stood for council in May in Springfield, said if elected he wants to do a walk-around with police and community safety officers.

The director of community organisation Clapton Commons is also backing the campaign for a new School Street on Enfield Road.

The full list of candidates for the De Beauvoir by-election on Thursday 7 July is: Kristal Bayliss, Women’s Equality Party; Oliver Hall, Conservative party; Thrusie Maurseth-Cahill, Liberal Democrats;  Kelly Reid, Independent Network; Tyrone Scott, Green party; Joe Walker, Labour party.

The Conservative and Women’s Equality Party candidates were approached for interviews but did not respond.