The Speaker

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 Humaira Garasia. The Deputy Speaker is Councillor Anya Sizer.

Speaker of Hackney - Councillor Humaira Garasia
Speaker of Hackney – Councillor Humaira Garasia
Deputy Speaker of Hackney - Councillor Anya Sizer
Deputy Speaker of Hackney – Councillor Anya Sizer

Events and engagements

To find about 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.

Nominated charity 2022-2023

Each year the Speaker selects charitable causes to support, both by fundraising and by attendance at events. This year the Speaker has chosen to support St Mary’s Secret Garden.

St Mary’s Secret Garden

St. Mary’s Secret Garden is a beautiful and accessible open access garden in Haggerston, Hackney with a difference. 

For over 25 years it has offered a safe space, community access and social and horticultural therapy, training and volunteering opportunities for people experiencing ill health or disadvantage due to age, health or disability.

The garden, which again received an Outstanding It’s Your Neighbourhood and Silver Gilt Community London in Bloom Awards in 2021, offers gardening and outreach services to day centres and organisations.

Herbaceous borders, a herb and sensory area, vegetable garden, woodland with training apiary, wildlife ponds, small urban meadows and a glasshouse are maintained by volunteers and those benefiting from services offered.

Highlights include the ornamental ‘Wish You Well’ area, Silent Space zone and training apiary.

Registered charity no: 1152027

  • tel: 020 7739 2965
  • email: 


Donate to the Speaker’s nominated charity

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.

Young Speakers of Hackney –  Sonny Elton and Sudenaz Top

The 2 Young Speakers of Hackney are selected from Hackney Youth Parliament members. As well as being a voice for the parliament, they work 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.

Hackney Town Hall tours

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.

Please note we hope to resume tours in September 2022. Watch this space.

Hackney Town Hall Open House London virtual tour with 2021 to 2022 Speaker of Hackney Cllr Michael Desmond

Children’s tours

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.

Please note we hope to resume tours in September 2022. Watch this space.

Page updated on: 4 August 2022

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Speaker's Office
Hackney Town Hall
Mare Street
E8 1EA


Opening times

  • Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm