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Hackney Elects its First Female Mayor

On 10th November, a new Mayor was elected to Hackney Council. Caroline Woodley, the Labour candidate, replaces the former Mayor Philip Glanville, who resigned in September.

Labour won 49% of the vote, a drop of 10% from the prior election, with a turnout of 20.7%.

Woodley has served as a councillor representing the Cazenove ward on Hackney Council since 2018. She also currently serves as the Cabinet Member for Families, Parks and Leisure. A by-election will be held for her councillor seat, and a new Cabinet Member for Families, Parks and Leisure will be appointed.

What does this mean for planning in Hackney?

Although Woodley’s campaign website states that she is determined to “support people over developers”, Woodley’s history at Hackney Council shows that she has previously supported regeneration projects in the borough, particularly when they have brought new social amenities to the borough.

During her time as the Cabinet Member for Families, Parks and Leisure, Woodley oversaw transformation projects throughout Hackney. She supported the regeneration of Shoreditch Park and the Britannia Leisure Centre, a project which included the construction of 81 new homes in Hackney (51 homes were social housing, and 30 were shared ownership). Other projects she has supported include the £4m project to create new community spaces in Springfield Park and the restoration of Abney Park.

Two of Woodley’s mayoral pledges may influence planning in Hackney: her commitment to solving the borough’s housing crisis and her commitment to expanding Hackney’s green infrastructure. Projects that increase the local housing stock, particularly those with a high social housing quota, could benefit from Woodley’s mayoralty. Projects with a strong focus on upgrading local amenities, particularly green infrastructure, are most likely to be favoured by Woodley’s council. Above all, her focus is on creating a “greener, fairer” borough.

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