What’s the point in voting?

Your vote matters!

Are bad politicians and their policies elected by good people who don’t vote? Possibly, but while it’s a privilege to honour the right to vote, engagement in democracy doesn’t end there, well at least not here at the Guild. 

This April the Guild took part in four non-partisan pre-election actions to secure commitments from the candidates most likely to win in three boroughs. Ensuring that whoever wins, our proposals win with them provided the Guild holds the elected leaders accountable in the months ahead.

Over the years we have seen evidence that our actions before and after elections have had an impact. One such example from our first Assembly in the 2018 local elections was to create our sophisticated online tool RENTCHECK to develop greater transparency in the commercial rental market. 

The app simply would not exist had we not made demands for transparency to the candidates for Mayor in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. The real reaction to this action came when members held local leaders to account a year later ready with a prototype of RENTCHECK that we made with the help of Founders & Coders. This revolutionary tool was funded jointly by Tower Hamlets and Hackney as a direct result of our Assembly. The next RENTCHECK event will take place in Hackney at Wild & Woolly on 24th May 6pm. For further evidence of our winning approach check our previous blogs. 

This year our demands are no less ambitious and all seven candidates we spoke to across three boroughs said yes to all of them! Here’s a recap of what we asked for;

A) Community Wealth; Rebuilding the Local Economy to Support Recovery

  • Ask one: If elected, will you work with us to support a member-led event in November to celebrate small businesses and raise their visibility to mark the 10 year anniversary of the EETG?
  • Ask two: If elected, will you work with us to develop the Guilds Map of independents and highlight the EETG Cultural Group presence within it to increase visibility and enhance community wealth ready for distribution at our event in November?
  • Ask three: If elected will you broker meetings between large sized businesses in the Borough and the EETG to enable us to partner with them to invest in community wealth through our Guild Apprenticeships initiative to continue supporting local people into employment as the follow on to the Kickstart Scheme?
  • Ask four: If elected, will you establish a dedicated council officer who is responsible for the development of a small business-led Community Land Trust to create permanently affordable workspaces thus safeguarding the East End culture of distinctive small businesses and social enterprises in perpetuity?

B) The Relationship

  • Ask one: Should you be elected, will you meet with us to progress these proposals within first 100 days of the start of your term in office?


For Tower Hamlets we had two additional asks;

  • Ask one: If elected and the Judicial Review finds the council’s decision to grant permission to the Truman Development unlawful will you work with us to develop an alternative community-led master plan?
  • Ask two: If elected and the Judicial Review concludes that permission is legal, will you commit to the Council working with us to prepare and adopting a community-led master plan for the rest of the Old Truman Brewery site?

In Hackney, we met with Labour Candidate Philip Glanville and Oliver Hall the Conservative Candidate at Signature Brew Haggerston.

In Waltham Forest council we met with Labour’s Grace Williams at Square Root Soda Works. We also invited Tim James from the Conservative Party to a roundtable, unfortunately, he could not attend but he wrote to say he’s also on board with all our ideas.

For full details of the Tower Hamlets Assembly on 5th April, you can read our previous blog.  

For a full list of all the candidates standing in the local elections follow these links;


Tower Hamlets

Waltham Forest

To find out where your nearest polling station is click here.

Your vote matters more now than ever, voting helps play a role in making sure the candidates work for us rather than the other way round. Power to the people!

Left to right; Kickstart Co-Ordinator Saranda Dedinca, Deivi Norberg the Guild’s QMUL PhD Researcher, Krissie Nicolson – EETG Director, Leonard Maloney JC Motors, Guy Nicholson – Deputy Mayor for housing supply, planning, culture and inclusive economy, Margaret Asare – EyeLondon Opticians, and Joe Mercer from Signature Brew.
Left to right. Anna Feldman – Wild & Woolly, Joe Mercer – Signature Brew, Margaret Asare – EyeLondon Opticians, Leonard Maloney – JC Motors, Oliver Hall Conservative Candidate, Boyowa Olugbo – Stennah & Hope, Krissie Nicolson – EETG.
Krissie Nicolson – EETG, Rob Garder – Gardners Bags, Joshua Wehner – Waltham Forest Flames, Cllr Grace Williams, Robyn Sims – Square Root Soda, Jay Smith – EETG Cultural Group Co-ordinator.