Leader of Waltham Forest Council Tories quietly steps down

The leader of Waltham Forest Conservatives has quietly stepped down and will not run in next year’s local election, according to the group’s new leader.

Former group leader Cllr Alan Siggers could not be reached for comment and the group has yet to make a public announcement.

However, new leader Cllr Tim James confirmed the change of hands, adding that his predecessor had “felt it was time”.

He said he understands Cllr Siggers will not run in next year’s local election, marking the end of almost two decades as councillor for Valley ward.

Cllr James said: “Alan has done a great job and worked very hard for a very long time. He’s going to be very much missed.

“Obviously he’s still with us (until the next election) and has got a huge amount to contribute to the team.”

He said there would be no “significant changes” yet under his leadership and that councillors would continue to “resist some of the developments proposed in the north of the borough”.

Cllr Emma Best, who is running to represent north east London in next week’s London Assembly election on May 6, will become deputy group leader.

A by-election to fill the third councillor role in Cllr James’ ward of Hatch Lane, replacing Geoff Walker after his death last March, will also take place on May 6.

The area’s more than 8,000 eligible residents will be asked to choose between Catherine Burns (Labour), Justin Halabi (Con), Robert Tatam (Green) and Henry Boyle (Lib Dem).

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter