How the Council works

In this introduction to the Council you can find out about the directly elected Mayor and who runs the Council. You can also find out about the Council’s constitution, budget, finances, transparency and structure.

The Council – at a glance

The Mayor

Hackney has had a directly elected Mayor since 2002. The Mayor selects some of the councillors to be part of his Cabinet. Together, they decide what policies should be put before full council for a vote. Mayor and councillors are elected every four years.

Philip Glanville was elected Mayor of Hackney in September 2016, becoming the borough’s second directly elected Mayor. He was re-elected in May 2018.

The Chief Executive

The work of the Council is implemented by council officers – these are staff who are not elected and are not party political. The person who is in overall charge of these staff is the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive is responsible for the strategic overview of all council services and for leading the Council’s core management team in ensuring the Mayor’s strategic priorities are met.

Council departments

The Council is made up of 4 directorates:

  • Chief Executive’s Directorate
  • Children, Adults and Community Health
  • Finance and Corporate Resources
  • Neighbourhoods and Housing

View the Council’s structure.

Political composition – Labour controlled

  • Lab 52 seats + 1 directly elected mayor
  • Con 5 seats

Your councillors

Local ward councillors are responsible for representing the people who live in the area on a wide variety of issues. Councillors (also known as Members) are normally elected for four-year terms and are elected by local people to plan, run, monitor and develop council services.

The Speaker

The Speaker of the Council performs a ceremonial and civic role and is a serving councillor elected to the office of Speaker for one year by fellow council members at their annual meeting.

The Council’s constitution

The Council’s constitution is the overall set of rules which governs how the Council operates.

The constitution outlines how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

It also includes protocols and codes which set out the standards of conduct and behaviour that the Council expects of councillors and its staff.

Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose.

Officer accountability

All councils must identify three statutory officers – the Head of Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer, and the Chief Finance Officer. These posts have special powers and duties imposed on them to intervene where an authority is acting unlawfully.

In Hackney the Head of Paid Service is the Chief Executive, the Monitoring Officer is the Head of Law and the Chief Finance Officer is the Group Director Finance and Corporate Resources.

The functions of the statutory posts are set out in Article 13 of the Council’s constitution.


The Council is committed to transparency and open access to information. View information on spending, senior salaries, the community right to bid, members’ expenses and allowances, and property and land assets.

Council finances

View information about our statement of accounts, closure of audit notice, annual audit notice, annual budget book and public inspection notice. Council finances.


Over the next few years, we will have some difficult decisions to make, but our priority will always be to protect frontline services and make sure we can look after our most vulnerable residents. We will involve you in these decisions. View our budget.

LGA peer review report

Page updated on: 22 October 2020

London Borough of Hackney


Hackney Town Hall
Mare Street
E8 1EA


Opening times

  • The Hackney Service Centre is open Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm and closed Sat and Sun