I’m standing to be a local councillor for Lea Bridge in Waltham Forest. I believe I am the only candidate who actually lives in the ward. I feel it is vital to have locals be part of local representation.


I’m 34 and work in fashion, mother of two and have lived and worked in East London for over 13 years. I’ve been vocal and campaigned with and on behalf of local resident groups for years now. I’m not a politician, I’m a local and outspoken resident who feels frustrated with local party politicians who don’t come to community meetings, respond to emails, let alone represent local people. I believe I can do a much better job at addressing resident concerns than our current Labour and absent councillors.


I love my neighbourhood and the diverse community I live in. We are seeing all sorts of issues that are being ignored because of weak representation. Lack of engagement, overwhelmed GPs, huge tower blocks serving the private sector, appropriation and carelessness of nature and green open land, air pollution dangerously high, unsafe playgrounds and general absence of spaces for youth. Meanwhile, the council approves massive unaffordable developments that will increase the ward’s population by half with nothing done to bolster the creaking public services that serve Lea Bridge.


Residents are being ignored.

Parents don’t bother ringing the GP for their little ones because it’s overwhelmed and impossible to reach. They have to go straight to A&E.

Neighbours are worried about more than 10 tower blocks being built on contaminated Gasworks land, over six years and within the same half mile. Neighbouring 3 schools including 2 nurseries and no guarantees on monitoring air quality and toxic dust on and in homes.

Our precious green spaces are not only essential for our health and wellbeing, they are public, accessible spaces needed by everyone in our community, they also play a vital role in preserving wildlife, cleaning our polluted air, draining heavy rain fall. We live on a flood plain and keeping open green spaces from being built on help to secure the safety of our future.

The council is much better at cooperating with developers (ie. alleged Clare Coghill scandal) than representing local residents’ interests.

Poorly planned transport solutions are affecting life in our ward. Pedestrians are troubled by badly designed cycle lanes, we have lost 1 important bus line, no bus going down Orient Way, we have unreliable trains and rushed LTNs resulting in high levels of air pollution. Local residents know their neighbourhood better than anyone so they’ll know which streets are the right fit for LTNs. Local residents needs to be at the heart of this debate. All the time.

We have local community buildings that are shut and abandoned deliberately to entice developers. I want to ensure the Jubilee Park Pavillion opens again to provide inclusive activities for all ages and abilities. I want to work with the LVRPA to re-open the Waterworks Centre to be the vibrant educational centre and cafe it once was and so deserves to still be.


By being open, collecting testimonies, regularly and frequently showing up to local events and places to absorb Lea Bridge life day to day. I aim to be the point of contact between all involved, study what I need to in order to make informed comments and decisions. Continue to listen and write on behalf of neighbours, and stay vocal about things that are not good enough. Crucially, find solutions in collaboration with different sides.

We need to address the issues like empty retail units all over our ward predominantly under the new developments and denounce the failed planning behind it.

I also believe that we need to raise awareness and visibility for the Argall Way Industrial Estate 'Capital Estate' and protect them from damages that may occur due to the ill-conceived Lea Bridge station sites development, there are real concerns and those businesses deserve to be supported. They are an essential part of the fabric of Lea Bridge, as well as being the largest employer.

I know and love the eclectic mix of businesses we are lucky to have. Coffee, cakes, off-licence, veg market, the pub, fast-food, second-hand treasures, food from around the world, community and family venues... and now a zero-waste refill shop!

Some most recent new additions have been warmly welcomed creating new mini hubs for different demographics to shop, consume or gather. But while some of our local businesses are thriving, some are not. We can and need to do more to support those who need it.

Our ward Labour councillors are not interested. They are completely absent. Let's change that!

I live here, with my young children. Local interests are my interests. Lea Bridge has had 20 years of inactive councillors who have delivered nothing for the ward. Residents are being ignored. As an Independent, I won’t toe any party line. Unlike the party politicians I’m running against, I only answer to the residents of Lea Bridge.

Local residents have been completely abandoned by Labour councillors. Our GPs and childcare services are overwhelmed and underfunded. For over 20 years residents have been saying how precarious healthcare is and for over 20 years the council have made empty promises. I demand Community Infrastructure Levy money is spent on the right thing, in the right location and before any new tower is built.

Our marshes and other green spaces are constantly at risk of destruction. Our council misunderstands so much of our landscape and its vital purposes. I strive to find solutions to protect our green spaces, advocate for better management by the council and the LVRPA to ensure residents are not losing out on such precious resources.

The over-developments we are seeing are completely failing to respond to the needs of residents. Less than 5% are social rent, and less than 15% affordable rent. None address the housing issues we have, and none contribute to our community’s very real needs. We are being imposed with unsuitable and unsustainable housing, which I will continue to challenge to ensure Lea Bridge receives the best treatment and the best standards.

Traffic is building up on our roads, LTNs create idling car queues, our council insists on felling healthy mature trees, and developers get the green light digging up contaminated Gasworks soil without any safeguarding conditions. The cumulative impact of such unjustifiable actions all at once is increasing health risks . I will continue to fight for independent air quality monitoring to ensure the council and residents are informed first. Our council must address this elephant in the room immediately.

Look around at the spaces for our youth. Our ward only has young children’s playgrounds and even those are poorly maintained, and often unsafe. Parents and children deserve so much better. There is a real opportunity to achieve quality, sustainable, imaginative play spaces for all ages in our ward. Attention and funding can and should be pulled together for this and I will ensure this is another key cause of my candidacy.


Vote for a local candidate who will challenge the status quo to improve life in Lea Bridge

Promoted by and for Solene Fabios Independent Candidate

Lea Bridge Ward Councillor Election 2022