Lambeth London Borough Council

Lambeth London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Lambeth in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, and one of the 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. The council meets at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton. Lambeth is divided into 21 wards, each electing three councillors. The council was first elected in 1964.

Lambeth London Borough Council
Coat of arms
Council logo
Mayor of Lambeth
Cllr Phillip Normal, Labour
since May 2020
Leader of the Council
Cllr Claire Holland, Labour
since 25 May 2021
Deputy Leader
Cllr Claire Holland
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Labour
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Jonathan Bartley
Cllr Nicole Griffiths
(job share), Green
Chief executive
Andrew Travers
since July 2018
Seats63 councillors[1]
Political groups
Administration (57)
  •   Labour (57)

Opposition (6)

First past the post
Last election
3 May 2018
Next election
May 2022
Meeting place
Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton


There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Lambeth area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Lambeth on 1 April 1965. Lambeth London Borough Council replaced Lambeth Metropolitan Borough Council and also took over some 40% of the area of the former Wandsworth Metropolitan Borough Council covering Streatham and Clapham. Both Metropolitan Boroughs were created in 1900 with Lambeth Metropolitan Borough Council replacing the Vestry of the Parish of Lambeth. The former Clapham and Streatham parishes, which became part of Lambeth in 1965, were governed by the Wandsworth District Board of Works from 1855 to 1900.[2]

It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963 Lambeth as a London local authority would share power with 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 local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Lambeth London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Lambeth was very active in the Ratecapping campaign in the 1980s. Lambeth became an education authority in 1990. 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.[3]

In 1985, the council under the leadership of Ted Knight joined other left wing councils in the rate-capping rebellion, although only Liverpool and Lambeth refused to set a legal budget with Liverpool passing an illegal deficit budget on 14 June 1985,[4] although the proposal for a general strike was never carried through.[5][6] From the start, Lambeth had been in the forefront of the campaign. Despite rumours that three might break ranks, all 34 Labour councillors present voted on 7 March 1985 not to set a rate.[7]

The Labour Party had included an aspiration in their 2010 manifesto for Lambeth to become a "Co-operative Council" with greater use of mutualist models. This attracted considerable media interest in the run up to the May 2010 election, characterised as the notion of the 'John Lewis Council' in contrast to the 'EasyCouncil' model being promoted by the Conservative Party in Barnet.[8] Following the 2010 election, the Council established a Commission to look at what this might entail.[9]

Powers and functions

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.[10] 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.[11]


The leader of the council from 2006, Steve Reed, stepped down following his election as Member of Parliament for Croydon North on 29 November 2012 and was replaced by Councillor Lib Peck.[12]

On 14 January 2019, Peck announced that she would stand down from the Council and as Leader to take a role as the head of the Mayor of London's Violence Reduction Unit.[13] In the ensuing election among Labour councillors, Councillor Jack Hopkins was elected Leader.[14]

Notable councillors

Green Party

Liberal Democrats

  • Anthony Bottrall, former British diplomat and councillor for Stockwell ward from 1994–2006.

Conservative Party

Labour Party

  • Ibrahim Dogus, Councillor for Bishop's ward since 2018 and entrepreneur and restaurateur.
  • Jim Dickson, councillor for Herne Hill and former Leader of Lambeth Council.
  • Steve Reed, former councillor for Brixton Hill (2006-2012) and Member of Parliament for Croydon North since 2012.
  • Florence Eshalomi, former councillor for Brixton Hill (2010-2018), Member of the London Assembly (2016-) and Member of Parliament for Vauxhall since 2019.
  • Marsha de Cordova, former councillor for Larkhall ward (2014-2018) and Member of Parliament for Battersea since 2017.
  • Dan Sabbagh, former councillor for Vassall ward (2010-2014) and associate editor of The Guardian newspaper.
  • Kitty Ussher, former councillor for Vassall ward (1998-2002) and former Member of Parliament for Burnley (2005-2010).
  • Jonathan Myerson, former councillor for Clapham Town (2002-2006)


A map showing the wards of Lambeth since 2002

Summary results of elections

Summary of council election results:

Overall control Labour Lib Dem Conservative Green
2018 Labour 57 - 1 5
2014 Labour 59 - 3 1
2010 Labour 44 15 4 -
2006 Labour 39 17 6 1
2002 Lib Dem/Conservative Coalition 28 28 7 -
1998 Labour 41 18 5 -
1994 No overall control 24 24 16 -
1990 Labour 40 4 20 -
1986 Labour 40 3 21 -
1982 No overall control 32 5 27 -
1978 Labour 42 - 22 -
1974 Labour 46 - 14 -
1971 Labour 51 - 9 -
1968 Conservative 3 - 57 -
1964 Labour 42 - 18 -


  1. "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections". Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  2. Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  3. Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0714648590.
  4. Not the echo! Liverpool Labour News, (a newspaper published by the Labour Party in 1985), '6,0000 jobs threatened', p1. The article was written by Militant member Felicity Dowling.
  5. Crick 1986, p. 261.
  6. "The Militants wanted an all-out strike to put pressure on the Government to act, but not all the unions were supporting the action, because there was no guarantee of success." Graham Burgess, Liverpool City Council Senior shop steward of the white collar staff union Nalgo in 1985, speaking to the Daily Post, Tuesday, 1 May 2007
  7. Stewart Morris, "No Surrender", South London Press, 12 March 1985, p. 21.
  8. Stratton, Allegra; correspondent, political (17 February 2010). "Labour to rebrand Lambeth as 'John Lewis' council". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014 via The Guardian.
  9. "Lambeth: The Co-operative Council". Lambeth London Borough Council. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  10. "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  11. "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  12. Lambeth Council Archived 2013-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Lib Peck appointed to lead London's new Violence Reduction Unit". Mayor of London. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  14. "Jack Hopkins to replace Lib Peck as Lambeth leader". London SE1. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2020.