Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward to step down

PUBLISHED: 18:40 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:46 05 April 2017

Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden Council

Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden Council

© Nigel Sutton email

Sarah Hayward is stepping down as leader of Camden Council.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall.    Picture: Nigel Sutton.Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Cllr Hayward wrote in a letter to Labour Party colleagues that “now is the right time to pass on the baton of leadership” to her successor – who will be picked at the group’s annual general meeting on May 2.

She will also quit as a councillor for King’s Cross in May 2018.

She said: “Before the 2014 local elections, I promised myself (and my husband) that I’d do just one more term as a councillor.

“When I started as leader, I set myself two principal goals: to leave Camden in a better place than when I started and to leave group with options for a strong successor as leader.

“I believe I have achieved both.”

Reacting to the news, Gospel Oak councillor and cabinet member for finance, technology and growth Theo Blackwell praised Cllr Hayward’s decision to step down and allow a new leader to “set out their stall”.

He added: “She has an extremely good track record to be proud of.

“In the tradition of Camden leaders, she has prioritised housing. But she has also fought tooth and nail to get the best deal on HS2 and is highly respected for that.”

Cllr Blackwell said she had also done a good job funding domestic violence services and early years work.

He added that he expects her to complete a master’s degree in international development.

Asked if he will be standing as leader, Cllr Blackwell said “now is not the day to talk about those things”. He stressed he is focused on ensuring Labour wins the upcoming Gospel Oak by-election on May 4.

In her letter, Cllr Hayward highlighted 12 areas of her administration – which began in 2012 – that make her “most proud”.

They include: tackling inequality, boosting housing, fighting HS2, helping refugees, preventing homelessness, working on community cohesion, and creating innovative policy.

Also mentioned are: building strong community partnerships, budgeting, making council tax more progressive, maintaining high-quality public services, winning residents’ satisfaction, strong campaigning and “showing there is an alternative to Tory dogma”.

West Hampstead councillor Phil Rosenberg, meanwhile, said he is “sorry” Cllr Hayward is stepping down.

He added: “She has been a fantastic leader – and in very challenging times.

“She showed strength, compassion and creativity during her leadership.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

12 minutes ago

Users of St John’s Wood Post Office have raised concerns about the proposed branch move to Charlbert Street.


It’s unlikely anyone testing the water at Hampstead Heath’s many ponds expected their checks for bugs like E.coli would ever become part of a performance art project.


Paddington Academy students are celebrating achieving the best A-level results in the school’s 11-year history.


Hornsey Sixth Form College A-level results were ‘significantly above national average’, according to the headteacher of the Crouch End school.


The principal of Westminster Kingsway College has champions the achievements of students in their A-level results.


UCL Academy students who received their A-level results yesterday are ‘equipped to be global citizens’, according to the school’s co-principal.


A-level results day at Greig City Academy revealed an array of talent, with Oxbridge bound students in a variety of disciplines.


The senior coroner for inner north London has issued a prevention of future deaths report after a jury found safety and emergency procedures at Bannatyne Health Club in Maida Vale were “inadequate”.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now