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An introduction to the almanac

The almanac provides information on the political control, number of councillors, leader (or equivalent) and chief executive (or equivalent) in each borough from 1964 to the present.

The information has been sourced from historic London Councils directories, records held online by the GLA, and records at the London Metropolitan Archives. London Councils also contacted boroughs directly for their assistance in completing the records, although some gaps still remain.

Wherever possible, data entries have been based on the position in the autumn of each year.

Up until 1974 the almanac lists town clerks, and from 1974 onwards lists chief executives, following the convention adopted by the majority of boroughs.

Where boroughs have operated the committee system, the almanac lists the chair of the policy and resources committee or equivalent, in place of the leader.

Councillor breakdowns are given for all political parties that contest elections on a nationwide, London-wide or multi-borough basis. Single-issue parties or parties whose scope is limited to a single borough are grouped in the ‘Independent’ category.

Elected mayors are not included in the councillor breakdowns. Where a party has a majority of councillors but the elected mayor is of a different party, political control is determined by the elected mayor.

Unlike the boroughs, the City of London is apolitical. Information is therefore limited to identity of the town clerk/chief executive and the chair of the policy and resources committee

If you have any further information for us to add to the almanac, please email