Councillor 'who never shied away from a challenge' resigns to trigger North London by-election

Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council
-Credit: (Image: Brent Council)


A council by-election will take place on the same day as the General Election following the resignation of a North London councillor. Eleanor Southwood MBE, who was born blind, is standing down after representing Brent residents for a decade.

Since first being elected as a councillor in 2014, Eleanor has represented residents in Queen's Park ward. She held two cabinet positions during her tenure, one within environmental services and, more recently, for housing and local financial support.

Her departure means Queen’s Park is in need of a new representative, with a by-election set to take place on July 4 - the same day as the UK General Election. There’s no details yet on who will be throwing their hat in the ring, but parties are expected to announce their candidates over the next couple of weeks.

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Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent Council Leader
Cllr Muhammed Butt said it has been an 'honour and pleasure' to work alongside Eleanor -Credit:Brent Council

Eleanor stood down from her cabinet role last year before being appointed as Director of Social Impact, Fight for Sight/Vision Foundation - a London based sight-loss charity. She is also a former chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Leader of Brent Council, Cllr Muhammed Butt, paid tribute to the outgoing councillor, calling it an ‘honour and a pleasure’ to work alongside her, and wished her ‘all the best’ for the future. Cllr Butt said: “Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ellie served on the cabinet in two crucial positions [...]. As the gravity of health inequalities in the borough emerged back in 2020, Ellie's tireless work on Brent's Poverty Commission sought to right these wrongs; and to make practical, evidence-based recommendations on how to reduce poverty in our communities.

He added: “And her impact rings true still today, with our Resident Support Fund serving as a lifeline for so many in the borough. Ellie has been a fierce advocate - not just for her residents in Queens Park - but for Brent as a whole, knowing that we cannot truly make progress together if we leave anyone behind. She set the bar high - and we'll keep it there."

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