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The Mayor

About the Mayor of Waltham Forest

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.

The Mayor of Waltham Forest, Cllr Elizabeth Baptiste

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’s Charity Appeal

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.

You can find out more and receive updates on our plans by emailing

You can donate to these great causes, on the Justgiving website.

The Mayor's biography

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 dietician at Whipps Cross Hospital. April will be the Mayor’s Consort for the year.

Invite the Mayor to your event

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:

The Mayor’s Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Competition for schools 2021/22

The Mayor for the first time has launched a competition for all secondary schools in Waltham Forest and is inviting pupils in years 7 to 11 to participate in the Mayoral Sickle Cell Disease and Nutrition Schools Education Campaign.

The Mayor is supporting the work of the Sickle Cell Society through both fundraising and raising awareness of the condition for 2021/22 as the charity supports and represents people affected by sickle cell disorder, particularly those of Black African and Caribbean heritage.

It is thought that over 100 residents are living with Sickle Cell in the borough. Schools and their pupils in the borough are being given the opportunity to take part in the competition by completing creative educational tasks themed on Sickle Cell Disease and Nutrition and submitting their winning ideas to the Mayor.

There are 5 winner categories:

  1. Year 7
  2. Year 8
  3. Year 9
  4. Year 10
  5. Year 11

One overall winner in each category out of the participating schools will be picked by the Mayor. The 5 winners will receive a prize and will also be invited to attend a presentation ceremony hosted by the Mayor in Spring 2022.

The competition closes on Monday 14 February 2022 at 5pm.

How to enter

Queries and further information

If you have any questions email,


The rules are:

  • One entry per school year group and entries need to be emailed to:, and received by 5pm on 14 February 2022.
  • Competition entries are free and can be up to 1000 words for tasks set out for pupils in years 8,9,10 and 11. (There are no word count restrictions on the poster entries for year 7 pupils)
  • To enter the competition, you must be in years 7 to 11 and attend a school in the borough of Waltham Forest on the date of the deadline 14 February 2022.
  • The Mayor is looking for original ideas that address and reference Sickle Cell Disease and Nutrition and helps to raise awareness about the disorder the very same as the Sickle Cell Society charity, that supports and represents people affected by Sickle Cell Disorder to improve their overall quality of life. 
  • By entering this competition, entrants agree that their entries may be published on the council website and in local news and social media and we will seek permission from schools to publish the names and photographs of those who enter the competition and those who win via the schools.
  • Teachers should comply with their own organisation’s data protection policy when supplying us with images and details of their pupils
  • The Mayors decision is final concerning the competition winners and no correspondence will be entered into concerning this decision and we are unable to respond individually to submissions

Cllr Elizabeth Baptiste talks about Sickle Cell Disease

Facts about Sickle Cell Disease

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease is the name for a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells. The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia.

Who is affected by it?

Sickle cell disease can affect anyone, although it predominantly affects people from African and Caribbean backgrounds. People with sickle cell disorder are born with the condition, it is not contagious. It can only be inherited from both parents each having passed on the gene for sickle cell.

How does Sickle Cell affect the body?

The main symptoms of sickle cell disorder are anaemia and episodes of severe pain. The pain occurs when the cells change shape after oxygen has been released. The red blood cells then stick together, causing blockages in the small blood vessels.

Is there any treatment available for Sickle Cell?

The only possible cure for the disorder is bone marrow transplant but this is only possible for a limited number of affected individuals who have a suitable donor. A medicine called Hydroxyurea, can significantly reduce the number of painful crises.

These painful episodes are referred to as sickle cell crisis. They are treated with strong painkillers such as morphine to control the pain.

Find out more about Sickle Cell Disease:

The Mayor's office

020 8496 4399 (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.)

Opening times

9am to 5.15pm
9am to 5.15pm
9am to 5.15pm
9am to 5.15pm
9am to 5.15pm
Waltham Forest Town Hall

Forest Rd


E17 4JF