The Mayor


Each year, the council elects a councillor to serve as Mayor for twelve months.

The Mayor is the borough's civic and ceremonial head for a year and during that time acts as chair of full council meetings.

The Mayor represents Waltham Forest at public, civic and ceremonial events. The Mayor's role extends to include events and organisations that support the community. The Mayor also entertains guests in the Mayor's parlour for both formal and informal events.

Together with the Queen's representative, the deputy lieutenant, the Mayor receives members of the royal family and VIPs during official visits to the area.

On 22 April 2021, Councillor Elizabeth Baptiste was elected Mayor for the civic year 2021/2022.

The Mayor’s daughter, April Sampson, will be her Consort. Her spiritual adviser will be the Revd Canon Ade Ademola from Emmanuel Parish Church, Leyton.

The Mayor will be supporting the Sickle Cell Society as well as Age UK Waltham Forest and the Alzheimer’s Society, through both fundraising and raising awareness of these conditions.

Fundraising events for Age UK Waltham Forest and the Alzheimer’s Society coming up include:

  • 25 September: a sponsored walk of 10 miles (but people can join for as long or as little as they wish)
  • 30 September: an exclusive curator-led tour of the Windrush exhibition at Vestry House Museum
  • 28 October: a drinks reception and tour of the Young Poland exhibition at the William Morris Gallery

For the Sickle Cell Society, there will be an online quiz and a chocolate tasting evening in November and looking further ahead to next Spring, a guided walk around the Walthamstow Wetlands.

Further details will appear over the coming weeks, but you can register your interest and find out more by emailing

And if you’d like to donate to these great causes, you can do so on the Justgiving website.

The Mayor's biography Click to get info

Elizabeth Baptiste was born in London to parents from the Caribbean islands of Grenada and St Lucia.  She grew up in London and the Caribbean and studied Social Policy and Human Resource Management at both Middlesex and Westminster universities.  She has worked in many educational settings and is a senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in the public sector.  She is a former Leadership and Organisational Development Adviser at Westminster University with specialist interest in Women and Leadership, Learning Organisational Development, Staff Coaching and Mentoring.

Her interest in politics stems from her membership of and participation in UNISON. This has resulted in holding various positions including the National Executive Committee for Higher Education, Regional Equalities Convenor and Chair of both the Greater London Regional Higher Education Committee, and the Black Members Committee.

Since becoming a councillor, she was elected by her peers in 2018 to become Deputy Group Leader of the Labour Group and in 2019 was elected as Labour Group Chair. 

Councillor Baptiste is founder of the newly established campaigning group Engage-Plus (part of LighterLife), working to promote BAME women in Leadership. She is also committed to making a difference to important issues and challenges such as education, health and wellbeing, aspects of the NHS (sickle cell anaemia and dementia), and housing. 

Councillor Baptiste lives in Chingford with her daughter April who is a paediatric dietitian at Whipps Cross Hospital. April will be the Mayor’s Consort for the year.


The Mayor is eager to support appropriate public events, although the number and type of events that the Mayor might attend in person is currently very limited. Please complete and return this protocol form if you would like her to attend in person.

If you would like the Mayor to participate virtually, please complete and return this protocol form.

The Mayor's office Click to get info

The Mayor's Office is open from 9am to 5.15pm.

If staff members are unavailable for any reason, you may leave a telephone message.

Phone messages will usually be answered within one working day, or the next working day if left after 5.30pm or over the weekend.

View the protocol for flying flags for major civic events.

Contact the Mayor