Hackney London Borough Council

Hackney London Borough Council

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Hackney London Borough Council, also known as Hackney Council, is the local authority for the London Borough of Hackney, in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in London. The council has been under Labour majority control since 2002. Since 2002 the council has been led by a directly elected mayor. The council meets at Hackney Town Hall and has its main offices in the adjoining Hackney Service Centre.

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The area of the modern borough had historically been part of the county of Middlesex. From 1856 the area was governed by the Metropolitan Board of Works, which was established to provide services across the metropolis of London.[4] In 1889 the Metropolitan Board of Works' area was made the County of London. From 1856 until 1900 the lower tier of local government within the metropolis comprised various parish vestries and district boards, including the Shoreditch Vestry and the Hackney District Board, the latter covering the parishes of Hackney and Stoke Newington. The Hackney district was dissolved in 1894 when the vestries for its two parishes took on district functions.[5]

In 1900 the lower tier was reorganised into metropolitan boroughs. In this area the three vestries which had been in operation prior to 1900 each became a borough: Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington.[6]

The modern borough was created in 1965 under the London Government Act 1963. It was a merger of the old Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington metropolitan boroughs.[5] The council's full legal name is "The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hackney".[7]

From 1965 until 1986 the council was a lower-tier authority, with upper-tier functions provided by the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the boroughs (including Hackney) responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986 and its functions passed to the London Boroughs, with some services provided through joint committees.[8] Hackney became a local education authority in 1990 when the Inner London Education Authority was dissolved.[9]

Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[10]


The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[11] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[12]

Political control

The council has been under Labour majority control since 2002.

The first election was held in 1964, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until it came into its powers on 1 April 1965. Political control of the council since 1965 has been as follows:[13]

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Prior to 2002, political leadership was provided by the leader of the council. The leaders from 1965 to 2002 were:[14]

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In 2002 the council changed to having a directly elected Mayor of Hackney with executive powers. The mayors since 2002 have been:[16]

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The council meets at Hackney Town Hall on Mare Street, which was completed in 1937 for the old Hackney Borough Council.[17]

Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, Hackney, London, E8 1DY: Council's main offices since 2010

The council has its main offices at the Hackney Service Centre at 1 Hillman Street, immediately west of the Town Hall. The Service Centre was completed for the council in 2010.[18][19]


Since the last boundary changes in 2014 the council has comprised 57 councillors representing 21 wards, with each ward electing two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[20]


  1. "Council minutes, 17 May 2023" (PDF). Hackney Council. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  2. "Chief Executive update". Hackney Council. 14 July 2023. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  3. Metropolis Management Act 1855 (18 & 19 Vict. c. 120)
  4. Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  5. London Government Act 1899 (62 & 63 Vict. c. 14)
  6. "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  8. "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  9. "London Boroughs Political Almanac". London Councils. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  10. "Jules Pipe: Labour candidate for Mayor of Hackney". Hackney Citizen. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  11. "Mayoral elections". Hackney Council. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  12. "Contact us". Hackney Council. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  13. "Hackney Service Centre" (PDF). Spaces (35). London: The Hackney Society: 1. Winter 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2024.

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