London Elections 2022: Spotlight on Waltham Forest – the key facts, big issues and political makeup
n May 5, voters across the UK will go to the polls to decide who will lead their local authority.
With the vote fast approaching, the Standard takes a look at the issues, key facts and political context of Labor-controlled Waltham Forest.
The cost of living and housing are key issues for voters. The lack of social housing and affordable housing affects many. The Conservative Party hopes national issues like the Partygate scandal won’t affect its vote.
Since its formation in the 1960s, Waltham Forest has been largely under Labor control, although there have been times when there has been no overall party control within the council. There was only one Conservative administration from 1968 to 1971.
Labor has controlled the town hall since 2010.
Labor increased their seat count in the last election in 2018, winning two seats from the Conservatives.
Currently there are 46 Labor ward councilors and 14 Conservative ward councillors.
Grace Williams is the leader of the council, having been elected by the Labor group in 2021.
Waltham Forest is home to approximately 276,940 residents as of mid-2020. The median age of residents is 35.6 compared to the English average of 40.2.
The borough is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. An estimated 53% of residents are from a minority ethnic background.
The top five locally spoken languages other than English are Urdu, Polish, Romanian, Turkish and Lithuanian.
Waltham Forest was ranked the 82nd most deprived borough nationally according to the 2019 Multiple Deprivation Index.