There were eight candidates in the Castle Baynard common councillor election held on 9 October 2018 in the City of London. A total of 277 votes were cast. The Labour Party candidate Natasha Lloyd-Owen won with 77 votes, with seven ‘independents’ splitting 200 votes between them. Lloyd-Owen’s victory came as a shock to the true blue City types who ludicrously claim our local authority is non-political despite the fact it aggressively promotes the neo-liberal agenda championed by the right-wing of the Conservative Party. Labour have previously won seats in residential wards but never before in a ward like Castle Baynard dominated by undemocratic business votes. So while City slickers and legal professionals getting votes where they work as well as where they live is obscene, and the minuscule size of the electorate is completely absurd, it was still a historic win.
While Reclaim does not belong to the body of true believers who see Jeremy Corbyn as a socialist saviour, given how backward the City of London is we still view Labour as playing a progressive role here – and we were very happy to see Lloyd-Owen win. We like her plans to tackle homelessness and mental health issues, and hope she will also address the fact that the City of London is a rotten borough in desperate need of democratic reform. What’s required is the abolition of business votes, a massive slashing of the number of councillors representing the area, and one or more of the neighbouring local authorities absorbing this tiny administrative area. Congratulations to Natasha Lloyd-Owen on her win: we now want her to take as her most pressing task the abolition of her new role as a common councillor for a business vote ward!
The header and picture above show Natasha Lloyd-Owen – the newly elected Labour councillor for Castle Baynard.