Finsbury Park ward councillor Gary Heather has become the Mayor of Islington, after being sworn in for 2023-24 at last night’s (11 May) Annual Council meeting.
Each new Mayor of Islington chooses a specific charity to support and raise funds for throughout their time in office. Cllr Heather has chosen Voluntary Action Islington, a charity which serves as the umbrella body for the local voluntary and community sector.
Upon being elected as Mayor, Cllr Heather said, “I am passionate about using my term in office to be a representative for all the people of Islington and to promote the principles of inclusion, equality and fairness in everything I do. I am particularly excited to get out and about in the borough to visit organisations who work so hard to support Islington’s diverse local communities.
“I am very proud to be raising funds and awareness for Voluntary Action Islington this year. The work they do is vital to creating a more equal Islington: empowering the expansion of volunteering to help people across the borough, as well as promoting inclusion and the power of community.”
Cllr Gary Heather has lived in Islington since 1975, first in Archway and now at the Nag’s Head in Holloway.
First elected as a councillor for Finsbury Park Ward in 2014, Cllr Heather has served on the council for 9 years. During that time, he has been an active member on nearly all of the council’s scrutiny committees, including the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee and the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee. He has been a strong advocate for environmental improvements, including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, and for reducing, reusing and recycling more waste.
Before becoming a councillor, Cllr Heather was very active in the borough as a campaigner for improved living conditions for residents and in defending vital public services, such as housing and the NHS. He was also prominent in the campaign to prevent the closure of the accident and emergency service at the Whittington Hospital.
Cllr Heather takes over from Cllr Marian Spall, who served as Mayor since May 2022. During her time in office, Cllr Spall raised over £20,000 for her chosen charities, Whittington Health Charity and Ronald McDonald Moorfields House.
Cllr Tricia Clarke will be the Mayoress and Cllr Anjna Khurana is the new Deputy Mayor.