Council confirms date for Higham Hill by-election

The by-election, to be held on Thursday 26th October, comes after the resignation of Cllr Alistair Strathern this week

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A by-election will be held in the Higham Hill Ward on Thursday 26th October.

The by-election follows the resignation of Cllr Alistair Strathern who stepped down to focus on his campaign to take Nadine Dorries’ MP Mid-Bedfordshire seat for the Labour Party.

Cllr Strathern, also the cabinet member for 15 minute neighbourhoods, resigned days after Dorries formally announced her own resignation as MP for Mid-Bedfordshire last week. Cllr Strathern was selected to contest the seat for Labour in June, and in July he moved his “main residence” to Shefford, Bedfordshire.

Prior to his resignation, Cllr Strathern had served as a councillor for the Higham Hill Ward for eight years. He had been cabinet member for children and young people from 2021 until June this year.

The council by-election on 26th October will be the first in Waltham Forest where residents will be required to present photographic identification when they vote. 

The list of acceptable photo ID includes a UK or EU passport, full or provisional driving license, blue badge, biometric immigration cards, PASS cards, and and Older person’s bus pass, Freedom pass or Oyster 60+ card. A full list of acceptable forms of identification is available on the Government’s website

Residents may also bring an expired photo ID if the photo still bears their likeness. Those without any valid photo ID can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. 

Council by-elections are triggered when at least two residents write to the council to request one.

In the 2022 local elections, Labour seized all three seats in the Highams Hill ward. Cllr Strathern won 1,673 votes to the Green Party’s 662 votes. The Liberal Democrat candidate won 316 votes.

Arran Angus, campaigns officer for Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats, told the Echo that the local Liberal Democrats would “absolutely” be fielding candidates. Arran added: “It’s a shame that [Cllr Strathern] has decided to run away from his constituents. The Liberal Democrats are looking forward to putting forward someone who actually wants to represent the people of Higham Hill.”

The local Green Party and Waltham Forest Labour Party were also contacted for comment. 

Candidates will be able to nominate themselves for election between Thursday 21st and Friday 29th September. Candidates in the running for the council seat will be announced on Monday 2nd October.

You can find out more information, including a full timetable for the election and voter registration deadlines here