Candidates prepare for by-election battle

Photo: Fabe

Residents of the Spitalfields and Banglatown ward will take to the polling station tomorrow and elect a new councillor.

Candidates will be competing for one of the three councillor positions in the ward left vacant by Lutfur Rahman’s appointment as mayor of the borough on October 21.

Each resident may cast one vote for their preferred candidate. The candidate who receives the most votes will be elected to the Council to represent the ward until the next local council elections in 2014.

After the disappointing turnout at the Mayoral election in October, the council are urging residents to take the effort to vote.

Returning officer Kevan Collins said: “Everyone who is eligible to vote has the opportunity to shape their local area this Thursday. Local councillors are the voice of residents and we encourage all to let their voices be heard”.

Abdul Alim is standing for Labour, Maggie Crosbie for the Greens, Fozol Miah is representing Respect, Fernando North is standing for the Liberal Democrats, Matthew Smith for the Conservatives, and Jewel Choudhury is an Independent candidate.

Abdul Alim was raised in Spitalfields and attended Stepney Green School. After years working as a civil servant he is now a local businessman.

He is fiercely opposed to the local budget cuts and vows to hold the mayor accountable if elected.

He said: “I am going to fight these coalition cuts and I ask you to join me in this fight so that together we can unite the Eastend.”

Maggie Crosbie, a community health worker and campaigner, has worked as a health visitor and in the area for years.

She has also played an important role in organising advocacy groups for battered Asian women and youth arts projects in the area.

The mother of two said: “As councillor, I will fight for the whole community in the face of unprecedented government cuts to public services.”

Fozol Miah represented the ward as councillor from 2006 to 2010. He says he will work with Rahman to help fight the cuts and provide “criticsm and opposition” if needed.

Trainee solicitor Matthew Smith promises to clean up the streets of Spitalifields and resist any over-development in the area. He also wants to fight for more action against anti-social behaviour.

Brazillian Fernando North aims to lift people out of poverty if elected. He has lived in the borough since 1993 and works for Network Rail.

Jewel Choudhury has prioritised housing and policing in the borough and says that he will work with Rahman “to get things done.”

Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 16 December. Eligible residents should have received their polling card showing details of their polling station through the post.

There are six polling stations situated at Christ Church Primary School on Brick Lane, Osmani Primary School on Underwood Road and Canon Barnett Primary School on Gunthorpe Street.

The ballot boxes will be taken to the Town Hall to count the votes after the polling stations close and the winning candidate will be announced.

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