People icon

Leader of the Council Cllr Richard Watts

Find out more about Councillor Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council

Cllr WattsRichard is the Labour member for the Tollington ward, and like all councillors, Richard holds regular advice surgeries for residents.

For more information about Richard's surgeries, visit the Leader's page on our Democracy website.

Leader's role

The Leader of the Council is elected for four years and provides political leadership and works together with Executive Members to set out a vision for Islington and the strategic plans that will help the Council to achieve it. 

Within the role, the Leader has specific duties including:

Political leadership: chairing the Executive and sharing collective responsibility for Executive decisions; acting as the principal political spokesperson for the Council; supporting, developing and managing members of the Executive.

Corporate leadership: giving political direction to the Chief Executive, Directors and other officers; providing political leadership to the development and implementation of the Council’s Corporate Plan and Budget; working with officers to formulate and implement policy proposals.

Partnership and community leadership: acting as an advocate for the local community and a spokesperson for residents; promoting Council priorities; building cross-borough links that progress the Council’s objectives; representing the Council and contributing to London-wide, national and international bodies/forums to promote Islington’s interests.

Reporting and accountability: reporting to full Council, Executive, scrutiny, regulatory bodies and stakeholders as appropriate.

Governance, ethical standards and relationships: promoting and supporting good governance of the Council, open and transparent government, respectful and effective relationships with officers, and adhering to the code of conduct.

Leader's Question Time

Richard holds regular ‘Leader’s Question Time’ events around the borough, where residents can come along and ask any questions they have, whether that be about housing, jobs, or any other local issue.

About Richard

Councillor Richard Watts has lived in Islington since 1998, representing Tollington Ward in the north of Islington since 2006. 

Richard served as Executive Member for Children and Families from May 2010 and Executive Member for Finance and Performance from May 2013 until becoming Council Leader in October 2013. Richard is also the Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, representing the interests of local authorities at a national level.

Before becoming a full-time member of the Council Executive, Richard ran the Children's Food Campaign, a national campaign to improve children's diets. Previously he worked for a number of different campaigns and a consultancy organisation, which led to some work in Kosovo helping develop the political party that formed out of the KLA guerrilla army.

He graduated with a degree in politics from Durham University and before this worked in the Pretty Polly tights factory in Nottinghamshire.

Richard and his partner have two children.

Please note: If you select the Twitter link below, you will leave the council's website. Islington Council is not responsible for the content of any external websites, including any political opinions expressed.