Labour wins in Lea Bridge and Grove Green

Both Waltham Forest wards elected Labour councillors in their June by-election, reports Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter, and Elizabeth Atkin

Cllr Jennifer Whilby and Cllr Uzma Rasool following their win (Credit: Waltham Forest Labour Party)

Labour won comfortably in Lea Bridge Ward and Grove Green Ward’s June council by-elections.

In Lea Bridge, Labour’s Jennifer Whilby received 1,176 votes. Local campaigner and Independent Claire Weiss won 441 votes, beating Conservative Sazimet Imre by five votes for second place. Green RoseMary Warrington received 181 votes, while Lib Dem Naomi McCarthy came last, with 116 votes.

The new councillor, Jennifer Whilby, is a life-long Waltham Forest resident, born to Jamaican parents, and an NHS worker for 32 years.

She is a member of the Queens Boundary Community, Friends of Queens Road Cemetery and Friends of Lea Marsh.

She said prior to her election: “I promise to bring my experience as a community activist and will always stand up for Lea Bridge residents.

“My priorities would be to make our streets safer, support a new Whipps Cross, tackle the climate emergency, invest in our libraries and support local businesses post-Covid.”

Over in Leyton ward Grove Green: Labour’s Uzma Rasool won 1,301 votes, with Lib Dem candidate Arran Angus in second place with 541 votes. Green Mark Dawes received 205 votes. Conservative Shahamima Khan came in fourth with 142 votes. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate Kevin Parslow received 40 votes.

Cllr Uzma Rasool, who has lived in Grove Green Ward for 23 years, is a teacher and researcher who describes herself as “passionate about improving the lives of young people”.

Pre-election, she promised: “I will build on the legacy of much-missed Cllr Chris Robbins CBE – doing everything I can to help improve our area.

“I am proud that our vibrant community is my home. I have also worked with local community groups and the council to stand against abuse, hatred and harassment and make our area safer.”

She intends to focus on support for renters and businesses, community safety, improving public services and the area’s environmental footprint.