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.
Events and engagements
To find about the any forthcoming events that the Speaker of Hackney will be hosting, see the Speaker's events calendar or 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.
Current Speaker - Councillor Soraya Adejare
Deputy Speaker - Councillor Clare Potter
Nominated charities 2017-2018
Each year the Speaker selects charitable causes to support, both by fundraising and by attendance at events. This year the Speaker has chosen:
Skyway is a youth charity based in Shoreditch. The charity works with young people in Hackney aged 8-25, running inspiring and positive activities that help with self-empowerment and ensure young people can contribute positively to their community. From sports to street art, Skyway aims to inspire young people through hands on alternative education.
Access to Sports
Access to Sports is a community led, creative and innovative sports development charity project based near Finsbury Park. Access to Sports provides loads of free sporting activities for young people right across the borough, so no one is left out from following their sporting dreams.
Off Centre is a counselling, therapy, advocacy, advice and psychosocial service for young people aged between 11 and 25 who live, work or study in Hackney. The service is aimed at giving Hackney's young people to have greater control over their lives.
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 2018 - Rose Ilunga and Kamani Williams
The two 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 later this year in October. You can put yourself forward for the 2018 Youth Parliament election and declare your interest as a manifesto pledge. Once the Hackney Youth Parliament has been elected later this year the group will select one male and one female representative as Speaker.
Hackney Town Hall tours
Guided tours of Hackney Town Hall will 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. To book onto one of the regular tours please contact your local ward councillor.
You can book on to one of the tours for London History Day on 31 May or one of our regular tours. 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.