UK Government

Tower Hamlets, London Borough of (London): A Mayor for Tower Hamlets …………

News   •   Oct 11, 2010 12:51 BST

On 21 October the residents of Tower Hamlets will be going to the polls to vote for the first ever directly elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

But what will the change actually mean?

The council is currently controlled by a Leader and Cabinet model, the new system will have a Mayor and between tow to nine Cabinet members appointed by the Mayor from the currently serving Councillors. One of the Cabinet Members will also be appointed as Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor will have executive responsibility for the day to day running of local services and will be responsible for most operational decisions about Council services, except the regulatory functions (planning, licensing, appeals). The Mayor must exercise powers within the Budget agreed by Council. The Mayor will continue to be held to account by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

When the Executive Mayor is elected on 21 October the title of the current ceremonial Mayor will change to 'Chair of Council’. A new ‘Chair of Council’ will be elected every year from among the serving councillors in the borough.

How to cast your vote

Each voter will receive a peach coloured ballot paper which lists the five Mayoral candidates. You have up to two votes, vote once in column one for your first choice candidate and once in column two for your second choice candidate. You do not have to cast a second choice vote, but you must cast a first choice vote or your ballot paper will not be counted. If you vote twice for the same candidate, your second choice vote will not be counted.

If one candidate receives more than half the first votes they will be declared of first Mayor of Tower Hamlets. However, if no one person received more than half the first choice votes the two candidates with the most first choice votes remain in the election and the other three candidates drop out. The second choice votes on the ballot papers of the candidates who dropped out of the election are then counted and if there are second choice votes for the top two candidates, they are added to the first choice votes these candidates already have. The candidate with the most first and second choice votes, will win the election.

If you have any questions regarding any aspect of the election call the electoral services office on 020 7364 0872 or email

There is also detailed information about the election at


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