Waltham Forest 2022 Local Election: No change after both parties lose one seat

In one ward, the race came down to just nine votes after three full recounts
By Victoria Munro

Votes being counted at the Feel Good Centre
Votes being counted at the Feel Good Centre

Following a closely-fought race that came down to just nine votes in one ward, the 2022 local elections have left Waltham Forest Labour with an unchanged majority.

There are now 46 newly-elected Labour councillors in Waltham Forest – the same number elected in 2018 – and 13 Conservative councillors, one less than at the last election.

The final seat goes to a technically independent candidate, Cllr Anna Mbachu for Grove Green, who was previously a Labour candidate and was listed as such on ballot papers.

In a brief speech after the final results were announced, council leader Grace Williams thanked all candidates, noting it “takes an awful lot to stand for public office”.

Council leader Grace Williams gives a short speech at the end of the night

She added: “Next I want to thank council officers. Every four years they go through this collosal effort, which means a complete change to their jobs.”

Speaking to the Echo, she said she was “really pleased with the result” of the election, adding: “It’s the result of a hard-fought campaign and shows Waltham Forest residents share our priorities for a cleaner, greener and fairer Waltham Forest.

“It also shows things are changing and that Labour do need to think about how we have conversations with the residents in Chingford and deliver on their priorities.

“I’ve been really enjoying spending time in Chingford [while campaigning] and finding out what makes their neighbourhoods work.”

Walthamstow’s Labour MP Stella Creasy was in attendance at the count, possibly to support successful Kizzy Gardiner, who was her – and the UK’s first ever – maternity cover MP.

Ballot boxes arriving at the count

At the last local election in 2018, Labour won every seat except those in Chingford Green, Endlebury, Hatch Lane, Larkswood and two of the three seats in Valley, which went to the Conservatives.

At this election, Valley remained split between two Conservative councillors and the incumbent Labour councillor Elizabeth Baptiste, who beat the ward’s third Conservative candidate by a margin of just nine votes.

There were also two new wards this election, following the creation of St James ward in Walthamstow and the decision to split Hale End and Highams Park in two.

The new St James ward went to three new Labour councillors, while the creation of the new Hale End & Highams Park North ward allowed the Conservatives to gain some seats.

While no other parties were able to gain council seats, there were impressive results in some wards, particularly for the Green party.

In William Morris, Green candidate Henry Greenwood received more than 1,000 votes, although not enough to win after huge showings for Labour. In Forest ward, however, Green candidate Glyn Roberts missed out on a council seat by only a few hundred votes.

In Lea Bridge, independent candidate Solene Fabios received a commendable 920 votes after all other independents dropped out of the race to support her chances.

Overall, turnout was fairly poor, reflecting a trend noted across London, although higher in traditionally Tory areas.

Ward results:

Cann Hall – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 26% – Cllr Keith Rayner and Cllr Sally Littlejohn re-elected and new councillor Kischa-Bianca Green elected

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Cathall – LABOUR HOLD, 24.9% turnout – Cllr Naheed Asghar and Cllr Jonathan O’Dea re-elected

Chapel End – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 31.2% – Cllr Paul Douglas, Cllr Louise Mitchell and Cllr Steve Terry re-elected

Chingford Green – CONSERVATIVE HOLD, turnout 42.2% – Cllr Mitchell Goldie and Cllr Kay Isa re-elected and new councillor Sazimet Imre elected

Endlebury – CONSERVATIVE HOLD, turnout 39.6% – Cllr Roy Berg and Cllr Emma Best re-elected

Forest – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 30% – new councillors Kastriot Berberi, Marsela Berberi and Zafran Malik elected

Grove Green – LABOUR LOSS, turnout 30.5% – Labour councillors Khevyn Limbajee and Uzma Rasool re-elected, Cllr Anna Mbachu also re-elected but no longer in Labour party

Hale End & Highams Park South – LABOUR GAIN, turnout 46.9% – Cllr Tony Bell and Cllr Rosalind Dore re-elected in a newly-created ward

Hale End & Highams Park North – CONSERVATIVE GAIN, turnout 37.1% – Cllr Tim James, Cllr Justin Halabi and Cllr Marion Fitzgerald re-elected in a newly-created ward

High Street – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 29.4% – Cllr Raja Anwar and Cllr Tom Connor re-elected, new councillor Crystal Ihenachor elected

Higham Hill – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 27.8% – Cllr Karen Bellamy and Cllr Alistair Strathern re-elected and new councillor Kira Lewis elected

Hoe Street – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 32.9% – Cllr Ahsan Khan re-elected and new councillors Miriam Mirwitch and Andrew Dixon elected

Larkswood – CONSERVATIVE HOLD, turnout 38.1% – Cllr John Moss and Cllr Catherine Suamarez re-elected, new councillor Sam O’Connell elected

Lea Bridge – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 28.5%Cllr Gerry Lyons, Cllr Shabana Dhedhi and Cllr Jennifer Whilby re-elected

Leyton – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 25.6% – Cllr Terry Wheeler and Cllr Whitney Ihenachor re-elected and new councillor Rhiannon Eglin elected

Leytonstone – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 32.6% – Cllr Clyde Loakes, Cllr Jenny Gray and Cllr Marie Pye re-elected

Markhouse – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 27.7%Cllr Johar Khan and Cllr Sharon Waldron re-elected

St James – LABOUR GAIN, turnout 33.2% – New councillors Catherine Deakin, Sebastian Salek and Katy Thompson elected in newly-created ward

Upper Walthamstow – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 36.5% – New councillors Yusuf Patel and Caramel Quin elected

Valley – HOLD, turnout 38.5% – Labour Cllr Elizabeth Baptiste and Conservative Cllr Jemma Hemsted re-elected, new Conservative councillor Afzal Akram elected

William Morris – LABOUR HOLD, 35%Cllr Grace Williams re-elected and new councillors Kizzy Gardiner and Jack Phipps elected

Wood Street – LABOUR HOLD, turnout 27.7% – Cllr Vicky Te Velde and Cllr Richard Sweden re-elected

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