Islington Council
Coat of arms
Mayor of Islington
Troy Gallagher
Leader of the Council
Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Labour
since 20 May 2021
Deputy Leader
Diarmaid Ward, Labour
Chief executive
Linzi Roberts-Egan
since September 2019
Seats48 councillors
Political groups
Administration (45)
  Labour (45)
Other parties (3)
  Green (1)
  Conservative (1)[1]
  Independent (1)[2]
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
3 May 2018
Next election
5 May 2022
Meeting place
Islington Town Hall

Islington London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Islington in Greater London, England. The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities: Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. Islington is divided into 16 wards, each electing three councillors.[3] Following the May 2018 election, and a subsequent defection, Islington Council comprises 46 Labour Party councillors, 1 Green Party councillor, and 1 Conservative Party councillor.[4] Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the Council is Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, while the Mayor is Councillor Troy Gallagher.[5][6]


A map showing the wards of Islington since 2002
A map showing the wards of Islington since 2002

There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Islington 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 Islington on 1 April 1965. The present Islington Borough Council replaced Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council. Both were created in 1900, in Islington the borough council replaced the parish vestry. Finsbury had a more convoluted history with the metropolitan borough council replacing the Vestry of the Parish of St Luke, the Vestry of the Parish of Clerkenwell and the Holborn District Board of Works (for Glasshouse Yard and St Sepulchre).[7]

It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963 Islington 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 Islington Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Islington 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]


See also: Islington local elections

Islington Council is elected every four years, with 48 councillors being elected from 16 wards. From 1964 to 1998, Labour controlled the council, apart from a 3-year period of Conservative control from 1968 to 1971, and a brief period of SDP control between 1981 and 1982, following the defection of Labour councillors together with MP Michael O'Halloran. The Liberal Democrats then had a majority from 1999 to the 2006 election, but continued to run the council as a minority administration until 2010 when Labour won a majority. In 2013, Labour won a seat from the Liberal Democrats in a by-election, and one Liberal Democrat councillor resigned the whip to sit as an independent, leaving the political composition of the Council as 36 Labour, 11 Liberal Democrat and 1 Independent.[11] As of the 2018 election the council is composed of the following councillors:[4]

Party Councillors
Labour 45
Green Party 1
Conservative 1
Total 48

In November 2020, former mayor Rakhia Ismail, who was originally elected as a Labour councillor for Holloway ward, defected to the Conservative Party, giving the party their first representation on the council since 1994.[12]

In May 2021, Kaya Comer-Schwartz was elected unopposed as Leader of the Council, replacing Richard Watts.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Former Islington Labour mayor defects to the Tories". Islington Tribune.
  2. ^ "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections".
  3. ^ Councillors and Wards Archived 2010-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. (2010-05-12). Retrieved on 2011-06-20.
  4. ^ a b "Your Councillors". Islington Council. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz". Islington Council. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  6. ^ "The Mayor of Islington". Islington Council. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Finsbury CP through time: Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit, A Vision of Britain through Time". GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  8. ^ Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0714648590.
  9. ^ "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Bartholomew, Emma (9 November 2020). "'I'm really lucky to be working with Shaun': Islington's former Labour mayor Rakhia Ismail defects to the Tories". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  13. ^ Batholomew, Emma (20 May 2021). "Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz takes over as leader of Islington Council". Islington Gazette.