By-election called after independent kicked off council

Will Coleshill forced to stand down from representing Bush Hill Park, reports James Cracknell

Will Coleshill failed to attend a single council meeting in six months

Voters in Bush Hill Park will head to the polls in July after a by-election was called to replace an independent kicked off the council for failing to attend meetings.

Will Coleshill was forced to stand down from Enfield Council after he did not attend a single council meeting for six months, a minimum requirement for elected councillors. This means a fourth Enfield by-election of the year will now be held on Thursday 1st July in Bush Hill Park.

Three by-elections were previously held in Chase, Jubilee and Southbury wards on 6th May, when Labour successfully defended two wards but also lost one – Chase – to the Conservatives. There was a significant swing away from Labour in every ward contested.

Coleshill had originally been elected in 2018 as a Conservative, but was suspended from the party just a few months later after being accused of making racist remarks in a council meeting, when he had asked whether the Turkish family of a Labour councillor had “brought a classroom with them”.

Last November, while still a councillor, Coleshill was charged with breaching lockdown restrictions after attending a public gathering in Hyde Park. He entered a ‘not guilty’ plea in court but the case was later dismissed and a fixed penalty notice issued instead.

Bush Hill Park is a Tory-leaning ward won in a clean-sweep by the Conservatives in 2018, when Labour came within 65 votes of winning one of the ward’s three seats. In a separate by-election held later that year, Tory candidate James Hockney won 52.4% of the vote, with Labour’s Bevin Betton a long way behind on 28.2%.

July’s by-election will see six candidates vie to win the vacant Bush Hill Park seat on the council.

Liberal Democrat Ade Adetula says he is standing because “Conservatives and Labour find it impossible to work together and aren’t working for the good of the people who elected them” He says he will fight to tackle fly-tipping and car crime.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate John Dolan is standing to oppose austerity and said that “workers in understaffed services are highly stressed, and struggling to provide the quality services our communities need and deserve”.

Conservative Peter Fallart wants to restore weekly bin collections and reduce council debt. He said: “The amount of fly-tipping in Bush Hill Park, being ignored by Enfield’s Labour council, is unacceptable, and becoming a real health hazard.”

Green candidate Benjamin Maydon opposes the new Edmonton incinerator and is standing for “action on climate change, social justice and public services”.

Clive Morrison, a former Labour councillor in Enfield, is now standing for a new political party, Taking The Initiative. He said: “My main focus will be to combat gun and knife crime. This scourge of knife crime will not happen on my watch!”

Nia Stevens, the Labour Party candidate, said: “Touched and humbled that people have put their trust in me and super proud to support Labour in Enfield.”

Will Coleshill could not be reached for comment.