Meet the candidates battling for votes in the Thames ward by-election

A dog at the polling station during a UK election. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

A by-election is due to take place in Thames ward on May 6. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Voters will be heading to the polls next month with three elections due to take place.

On May 6, those who are eligible can vote in elections for the Mayor of London and London Assembly.

A by-election in Thames ward is also due to be held on the same day following the resignation of Cllr Bill Turner.

The Post invited the six by-election candidates to introduce themselves, explain their priorities and say why people should vote for them. This is what each had to say presented in alphabetical order by surname.

Lucy Ewube Baiye-Gaman - Christian Peoples Alliance Party

Lucy Ewube Baiye-Gaman

Lucy Ewube Baiye-Gaman is the candidate for the Christian Peoples Alliance Party. - Credit: Lucy Ewube Baiye-Gaman


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Lucy has been living in Barking since 1994. She has worked with homeless people for many years, helping them with resettlement and with drug and alcohol problems.

She is presently working with an agency as a supply teacher in various schools. 

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When she had young children, she managed an after-school music project in Barking for children and youths aged 10-18 free of charge to help keep them off the street.

She believes in restoring family values wherever possible. 

CPA will help local businesses by halving commercial rates made possible by introducing a turnover tax all businesses will pay including Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google.

We will also focus on affordable housing and better maintenance of the borough. We will cut crime by rehabilitating offenders using proven ventures that really do work.

We are committed to freedom of speech as long as there are no threats of violence. 

Andrew Boff - Conservative Party

Andrew Boff

Andrew Boff is the Conservative Party candidate. - Credit: Andrew Boff

I've lived in Thames ward for seven years and was a founder member of the Barking Reach Residents Association.

My day job was as a member of the London Assembly where I held the Mayor of London to account.

I also chaired the all-party Londonwide planning committee which opposes the kind of high-rise, low-quality housing that the council is now building.

Residents feel they have lost control of their streets and the council don’t seem to take pride in the area.

I want the council to clean the streets, fill the potholes and scrap the undemocratic CPZs.

All 50 councillors are Labour and they spend their time making excuses for the council rather than standing up for residents.

Thames ward has been ignored because councillors from the ruling party have been silent and there is no opposition to make a noise on their behalf. I have the experience to make that big noise.

Pete Mason – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 

Pete Mason

Pete Mason is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's candidate. - Credit: James Ivens

I am a Thames ward resident and chair Barking Reach Residents Association.

Parking was the first issue I fought on, winning 104 extra, free visitor parking spaces. Parking control zones are just money-making schemes imposed against residents’ wishes.

I was asked to stand by the residents’ association committee.

I oppose the big builders and private landlords who have profited from what was public land that the Greater London Authority and council handed over.

I believe the big landlords and builders disregarded fire hazards – the Samuel Garside House fire made national news – and so endanger people on the estate. We have campaigned on fire safety for years.

I oppose the 4.99 per cent council tax hike – and would fight for full funding for jobs, homes and services from Westminster.

Labour doesn’t represent working people anymore. The Tories offered nurses  one pc rises, Labour two pc. They need 15pc. That’s why I’m standing for TUSC.

Afzal Sayad Munna - Liberal Democrat Party 

Afzal Sayad Munna

Afzal Sayad Munna is the Liberal Democrat candidate. - Credit: Patrick Gannon

Afzal is Bangladeshi born, but now feels at home in the wonderfully diverse borough he has lived in for the past five years.

When not campaigning to improve how the council serves its residents, Afzal works as a lecturer in business for a London university.

He is passionate about improving educational attainment in the borough.   

Afzal is ready to listen and is determined to stand by local residents. He has a clear vision to improve Thames ward, committing to make our streets cleaner and tidier by ensuring the council clamps down on rubbish and fly-tipping.

Afzal will also fight for the council to make it easier for residents to recycle, saying that the borough has one of the worst recycling rates in the country.  

Afzal is keen to end the one-party state, where there are no opposition councillors to hold the Labour council to account.

This means there is currently no one to ensure residents' alternative views are listened to when the council introduces new schemes such as controlled parking zones. 

Fatuma Nalule - Labour Party

Fatuma Nalule

Fatuma Nalule is the Labour Party's candidate. - Credit: Barking and Dagenham Labour

I have lived in Thames ward for more than five years and since then I have worked with many different community and faith groups to get the best for Thames residents, including our local neighbourhood watch and as community outreach for Barking Riverside.

I manage the community organisation Triangoals, running free fitness sessions and working with our young people to keep them active.

Throughout the pandemic, I have worked closely with the Barking and Dagenham Citizens Alliance Network (BDCAN) to support my vulnerable neighbours and deliver essential food parcels and medicine. 

I believe that community must be at the heart of the council's ambition – only by working together can we see real change.

If elected as your councillor, I will continue to build bridges between our community and the council and fight to ensure than no one is left behind. 

Sabbir Zamee - Independent

Sabbir Zamee

Sabbir Zamee is an independent candidate for Thames ward. - Credit: Ishraq Zamee

I have been a resident of Thames View estate for more than 16 years. I set up my transportation business in Thames View in 2015 which created local employment. I worked on the London buses for more than 15 years.

I am involved with various community organisations. As a resident, I understand the issues faced by the residents. I believe residents are not being well represented by some of our current elected officials.

I have been working with Tanent Residents Association, residents and shop owners to campaign against the 24 hour controlled parking zone (CPZ).

I have collected objection letters and signatures, submitted a petition to councillors and the MP for not supporting the 24 hours CPZ. Our campaign was a success.

On March 13, 2020, our MP came for a ‘walk around’ but our campaign for better CPZ has been affected by lockdown.

I don’t want to give any false hope like “scrap the CPZ”, but I pledge I will continue my campaign for a better CPZ which is desired by the residents. I will also support youth and elders for a safer and cleaner Thames ward.

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