Coat of arms
Mayor of Islington
Cllr Una O'Halloran
since 11 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Janet Burgess MBE, Labour
since September 2019
Length of term
|First past the post|
|3 May 2018|
|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. 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. Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the Council is Councillor Richard Watts , while the Mayor is Councillor Una O'Halloran.
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).
It was envisaged, in accordance with the London Government Act 1963, that 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.
The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation. Islington has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, and it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. It is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal. The council shares responsibility with the Greater London Authority for strategic policies including housing, planning and the environment.
Islington London Borough Council is the billing authority for Council Tax, and collects a precepts on behalf of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.
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. As of the 2018 election the council is composed of the following councillors:
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.