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London elections 2022: Labour retains Hackney

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abour has retained Hackney with 50 seats, a loss of two.

The Green Party picked up two seats on the council while the Conservatives retained their five.

Key Issues

Like elsewhere in London, controversial low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are likely to be a key issue for voters in Hackney when they head to the polls in May.

The measures, which close roads to through traffic to make it easier to walk and cycle, were adopted by many councils at the height of the Covid pandemic following statutory advice from the Government.

But they have been met with a mixed response, with both vocal support and fierce opposition.

Already this year, Hackney Council has taken the decision to make permanent the LTNs in place in Homerton and London Fields despite public consultations revealing widespread opposition to them.

The Conservatives are hoping to capitalise on the issue and are clearly optimistic it will resonate with voters, having made the removal of LTNs their first manifesto pledge.

Other issues likely to be at the forefront of voters’ minds are housing in Hackney and a lack of trust in local policing.

The borough was at the centre of a major policing controversy this year when details emerged about Metropolitan Police officers subjecting a 15-year-old Black schoolgirl to a strip-search at her school.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Stoke Newington Police Station in the borough following the revelations.

Details

Labour has held a majority on Hackney Council for all but two terms since the first elections in 1964, with the Conservatives winning in 1968 and no party gaining overall control in 1998.

Since then, Labour has made the borough something of a stronghold in London, winning consecutive elections.

At the last local election in 2018, Labour won 52 of the 57 seats on Hackney Council, two more than the party had won in 2014. The Conservatives won the remaining five seats, an improvement on the four they won in 2014. The Lib Dems lost all three seats they had held on the council since the previous election.

Overall, Labour won 63 per cent of the popular vote across the borough in 2018, an improvement of almost 5 per cent compared to the previous election.

Despite not winning any seats, the Green Party came second in terms of the popular vote, winning 16.9 per cent of all votes in the borough.

Hackney is one of five London boroughs governed under a mayoral system, with residents having voted to elect their own mayor in a 2002 referendum.

Since then, Labour has won every mayoral election in Hackney, with incumbent mayor Phillip Glanville having first won in a 2016 by-election following former mayor Jules Pipe’s resignation to take up the role of London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning.

The Conservatives have selected 19-year-old Oliver Hall as their candidate in this year’s mayoral election. Mr Hall is thought to be the youngest ever candidate to stand as a directly elected mayor in England.

Demographics

According to 2020 estimates from the Office for National Statistics, Hackney has a population of around 280,900, up from 246,270 recorded in the 2011 Census.

Figures from the 2011 Census show that around 36.2 per cent of the borough’s population is made up of people from White British backgrounds. Residents from other White backgrounds make up 16.2 per cent of the population.

The single largest minority ethnic group in Hackney is the Black African community, which accounts for 11.4 per cent of the population. Residents from Black Caribbean backgrounds represent 7.8 per cent of the population.

Hackney is also home to significant Turkish and Kurdish communities, while a large Charedi Jewish community is concentrated in the northeast of the borough.

The borough has a relatively young population, a quarter of which is made up of people under the age of 20.

Overall, people aged 18 to 64 make up 69.3 per cent of Hackney’s population, while those aged 17 and under account for 22.7 per cent. Over-65s make up 7.9 per cent.

According to Trust for London, Hackney performs poorly when it comes to poverty and child poverty, with worse than average rates of 36 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. The unemployment rate in the borough stands at 5.2 per cent.

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