Meet the leader
Councillor Stephen Cowan has been the Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham since 2014.
- Ward: Grove
- First elected to H&F Council: 7 May 1998
- Elected leader of the H&F opposition: 2006
- Elected leader of H&F Council: 22 May 2014
- Contact details for Councillor Stephen Cowan
H&F vision and priorities
Read the H&F Vision (pdf 99.45KB) and about Stephen's priorities for the borough:
- building a shared prosperity
- creating a compassionate council
- doing things with residents, not to them
- being ruthlessly financially efficient
- taking pride in Hammersmith & Fulham
- rising to the challenge of the climate and ecological emergency.
Here are some of Cllr Cowan's achievements to date:
- saved Charing Cross Hospital
- launched universal free breakfast clubs to tackle food poverty
- abolished home care charges
- led on rescuing child refugees
- secured over £600 million by getting tough in negotiations with developers
- first council leader to call to give the British people a vote on any Brexit deal
- launched ambitious Industry Strategy with Imperial College London
- working to make H&F the greenest borough including greatest number of electric car charging points
- broke new ground on ethical debt collection
- biggest expansion in support for foodbanks
- building 3,100 genuinely affordable homes.
Read more about Stephen's priorities and achievements in the H&F annual report 2019-20 (pdf 1.32MB).
Stephen has led the Labour group at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham for the last 13 years. He has been the borough’s leader since H&F Labour’s first landslide in 2014.
Stephen quickly set up an independent business-led commission that reviewed how to make Hammersmith & Fulham the best place for business in the EU. He also set up a ground-breaking industrial strategy partnership with Imperial College London designed to make his borough a global hotspot in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and creative industries.
Under Stephen’s leadership, H&F has developed a national reputation for its bold approach to change which has included:
- being the only council in England to abolish charges for adult social care
- the only UK council to send social workers to refugee camps rescuing more child refugees than any other UK council
- successfully leading the fight to halt the biggest hospital closure programme in London’s history
- being the first UK borough to formally call for Brexit to be halted and for the British people to be given a confirmatory vote on any deal agreed by Parliament.
Stephen is originally from the north west. He worked in computer magazine publishing before setting up a business which specialised in management, leadership, and negotiation training.