As the Council has a directly elected mayor with executive powers, the role of speaker fulfils many of the ceremonial and public duties traditionally associated with the mayor.
The Speaker of the Council is a serving councillor elected to the office for one year by fellow council members at their annual meeting.
They chair full council meetings, attend numerous events, welcome visitors to Hackney and preside over citizenship ceremonies.
The Speaker of Hackney is Councillor Kam Adams. The Deputy Speaker is Councillor Michael Desmond.
On this page:
To find about the any forthcoming events contact the Speaker’s Office.
Invite the Speaker to an event
Whether you are a local community group, school or charity inviting the Speaker to your event will lend an air of dignity and ceremony. The Speaker will try hard to attend either in person or by sending the Deputy Speaker.
Events which the Speaker attends include presentations of certificates, including citizenship ceremonies, police passing-out parades, religious services, the annual Remembrance Sunday parade, building openings, fetes, concerts, sporting events and civic receptions among many others.
The Speaker also visits schools in the borough to talk about the work of the Council and civic responsibility, and conducts tours of the Council Chamber and the Speaker’s Parlour for community groups.
Each year the Speaker selects charitable causes to support, both by fundraising and by attendance at events. This year the Speaker’s chosen three charities: The Ivy Street Family Centre and Growbaby Centre, Sporting Hackney Mind and Sistah Space Sanctuary. Donations to the Speaker’s Charities can be sent to the Speaker’s Office. Cheques should be made payable to the ‘Speaker’s Charity’.
The Ivy Street Family Centre and Growbaby Centre
The centre has been providing a warm and welcoming space to local families with preschool children for almost 40 years; they provide fun activities for the children, support, friendship and advice for parents and carers. Growbaby provides good quality baby clothes and equipment to families who need help.
Registered Charity number: 1088854
Sporting Hackney Mind
A unique partnership between the local mental health charity, Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest, and Sporting Hackney. It focuses on improving residents with mental health conditions through a football programme which aims to use the power of sport to improve physical and mental wellbeing to some of the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community.
Registered Charity number: 283329
Sistah Space Sanctuary
A community-based initiative that supports African heritage women and girls experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse or sexual violence. It offers training to practitioners and agencies working with victims of domestic abuse and campaigns for changes in the way that black and minority women and girls are supported when they report domestic abuse.
Registered Charity number: 1179934
Donations to the Speaker’s charities can also be sent to the Speaker’s Office. Cheques should be made payable to the Speaker’s charity.
The 2 Young Speakers of Hackney are selected from Hackney Youth Parliament members. As well as being a voice for the parliament, the Speakers will be working towards improving the lives of young people in the borough, by championing the youth voice, attending Council meetings and working directly with the Mayor and Speaker.
If you’d like to become a Young Speaker of Hackney you will have the chance next year at the 2020 Youth Parliament election where you can declare your interest as a manifesto pledge.
Guided tours of Hackney Town Hall take place regularly. Tours also take place as part of Open House London each year.
Up to 30 people can attend a tour, which also includes a visit to the Hackney Town Hall vaults, a historical display on civic life in the borough.
If you’d like to book a group tour, please contact us on the details on this page.
Specialist tours for primary school children are also available. They link in with the citizenship curriculum to help further children’s understanding of democracy. To book a tour for your school please contact us at the details on this page.