Candidates vow to fight for change in Spitalfields and Banglatown by-election

POLL day for a new councillor for Spitalfields and Banglatown is edging closer and residents will be able to choose from six candidates.

On Thursday, East Enders in the ward will elect a new councillor to replace Lutfur Rahman, whose post had to be filled after he won the borough’s mayoral election on October 21.

The candidate who receives the most votes will represent the ward until the next local elections in 2014.

Voting will take place in six polling stations between 7am and 10pm.

Almost 8,500 people are eligible to vote and rough cost of the election is �18,000.

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

Spitalfields-raised Mr Alim previously worked as a civil servant and now runs a business in the area.

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He has vowed to fight back against the ConDem cuts and says he will hold the mayor to account if he is elected.

Mr Choudhury says he will work with Mr Rahman “to get things done” in his campaign literature.

He said he will fight for more family sized homes and police officers on the beat.

Ms Crosbie vowed she will fight for health services in the borough and against the cuts.

The mother of two, who ran a group to help battered and separated Asian women, is also campaigning against university fee rises.

Former councillor Mr Miah represented the ward from 2006 to 2010.

He said he will fight the ConDem cuts and work with Mr Rahman but provide “criticism and opposition” if it is needed.

Brazil-born Mr North has lived in the borough since 1993 and works for Network Rail.

He said a priority is lifting people out of poverty.

Oxford graduate Mr Smith is training to be a solicitor and lives in the ward.

He said he will fight to clean up the streets of Spitalfields and oppose over-development of the area as well as campaign for more action against anti-social behaviour.

Eligible residents should have received their polling card through the post.

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.