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London borough council

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London borough council

London borough

Greater London shown within England, containing thirty-two London boroughs
Category Districts
Location Greater London
Created by London Government Act 1963
Created 1 April 1965
Number 32 (as of 2013)
Possible types Inner London (12)
Outer London (20)
Possible status City (1)
Royal borough (3)
Populations 150,000–300,000
Areas 15–150 km2
Government London borough council (32)

London boroughs are the thirty two principal subdivision of the administrative area of Greater London and are each governed by a London borough council. The London boroughs were all created at the same time as Greater London on 1 April 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 and are a type local government district. Twelve were designated as Inner London boroughs and twenty as Outer London boroughs. London boroughs have populations of around 150,000 to 300,000. Inner London boroughs tend to be smaller, both in terms of population and area, and have higher population densities than Outer London boroughs. The London boroughs were created by combining whole former units of local government and a review undertaken between 1987 and 1992 led to a number of relatively small alterations in borough boundaries.

London borough councils provide the majority of local government services, in contrast to the strategic Greater London Authority which has limited authority over all of Greater London. The councils were first elected in 1964 and acted as shadow authorities until 1 April 1965. Each borough is divided into electoral wards, subject to periodic review, for the purpose of electing councillors. Council elections take place every four years, with the most recent elections in 2010 and the next elections due in 2014. The political make-up is dominated by the three major national parties. Twenty eight councils follow the leader and cabinet model of executive governance, with directly elected mayors in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. The London boroughs and London borough councils cover Greater London outside the City of London, which is instead governed by the City of London Corporation and the Inner and Middle Temples.

London borough councils

The London boroughs are administered by London borough councils (sometimes abbreviated LBCs) which are elected every four years. They are the principal local authorities in London and are responsible for running most local services, such as schools, social services, waste collection and roads. Some London-wide services are run by the Greater London Authority, and some services and lobbying of government are pooled within London Councils. Some councils group together for services such as waste collection and disposal, e.g. the West London Waste Authority. The boroughs are local government districts and have similar functions to metropolitan boroughs. Each borough is a Local Education Authority. Until 1990 the Inner London boroughs were served by a shared LEA, the Inner London Education Authority.

Shared services

Shared services are borough council services shared between two or more boroughs. Shared services were previously resisted due to councils jealously guarding their authority. However, as the need for budget cuts in the late 2000s became apparent some councils have sought service mergers.[1] Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham will merge their education services, including school admissions and transport by 2011.[2] In October 2010 Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea announced plans to merge all their services to create a "super-council". Each would retain its own political identity, leadership and councillors but staff and budgets would be combined for cost savings.[3] Lambeth and Southwark likewise expressed an interest in sharing services.[4]

Critics of shared services

The management thinker and inventor of The Vanguard Method, Professor John Seddon, claims that shared service projects based on attempts to achieve 'economies of scale' are a mix of a) the plausibly obvious and b) a little hard data, brought together to produce two broad assertions, for which there is little hard factual evidence.[5] He argues that shared service projects fail (and often end up costing more than they hoped to save) because they cause a disruption to the service flow by moving the work to a central location, creating waste in handoffs, rework and duplication, lengthening the time it takes to deliver a service and consequently creating failure demand (demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for a customer).[6]

Seddon referred directly to the so-called tri-borough shared services in a recent article.[7]

Major issues

Because of high housing costs in London and the impact of welfare reforms enacted by the Coalition Government, there are many challenges for local government in London. Local Government Guru, Richard Cressey, when addressing an audience of like-minded people in 2013, asserted that such issues could not be addressed "on a borough by borough basis". Instead, Cressey argued for it to be dealt with on a "pan-London basis". Everyone else agreed.[8]

List of boroughs

  1. City of London (not a London borough)
  2. City of Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Wandsworth
  6. Lambeth
  7. Southwark
  8. Tower Hamlets
  9. Hackney
  10. Islington
  11. Camden
  12. Brent
  13. Ealing
  14. Hounslow
  15. Richmond upon Thames
  16. Kingston upon Thames
  17. Merton
  1. Sutton
  2. Croydon
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Greenwich
  6. Bexley
  7. Havering
  8. Barking and Dagenham
  9. Redbridge
  10. Newham
  11. Waltham Forest
  12. Haringey
  13. Enfield
  14. Barnet
  15. Harrow
  16. Hillingdon

There are four boroughs that do not have "London Borough" in their names: the City of Westminster, and the Royal Boroughs of Kingston upon Thames, Kensington and Chelsea, and (since 2012) Greenwich. Additionally the London borough council of Westminster does not include "London Borough Council" in the name and is known as Westminster City Council.


British politics portal

The Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London proposed 52 "Greater London Boroughs" with a population range of 100,000 to 250,000.[9]

The 32 London boroughs were created by the London Government Act 1963, and came into existence on 1 April 1965 with the creation of Greater London. The elections had been held in 1964 with the new councils acting as "shadow" authorities before coming into power the following year.

They had wider authority than the inner London metropolitan boroughs and neighbouring urban districts and municipal boroughs that they mostly replaced, but less power than the county boroughs of Croydon, West Ham and East Ham, which ceased to exist at the same time.

Between 1965 and 1986 the boroughs were part of a two-tier system of government, and shared power with the Greater London Council (GLC). On 1 April 1986 the GLC was abolished, the boroughs inheriting most of its powers and becoming in effect unitary authorities (combining both county and borough functions). Since the creation in 2000 of the Greater London Authority covering the former GLC area but with more limited powers, the boroughs no longer have all the powers of English unitary authorities.

The City of London is administered by the City of London Corporation, which predates the boroughs.

Former authorities

The boroughs were created as follows: there have been some changes to boundaries and some boroughs have been renamed.

Inner London borough Former areas
Camden Hampstead (11a) St Pancras (11b) Holborn (11c)
Greenwich Greenwich (22a) Woolwich (part) (22b)
Hackney Hackney (9a) Shoreditch (9b) Stoke Newington (9c)
Hammersmith Hammersmith (4a) Fulham (4b)
Islington Islington (10a) Finsbury (10b)
Kensington and Chelsea Kensington (3a) Chelsea (3b)
Lambeth Lambeth (6a) Wandsworth (part) (6b)
Lewisham Lewisham (21a) Deptford (21b)
Southwark Bermondsey (7b) Camberwell (7c) Southwark (7a)
Tower Hamlets Bethnal Green (8a) Poplar (8c) Stepney (8b)
Wandsworth Battersea (5b) Wandsworth (part) (5a)
Westminster Paddington (2c) St Marylebone (2b) Westminster (2a)

Outer London borough Former areas
Barking and Dagenham Barking (part) (25a) Dagenham (part) (25b)
Barnet Barnet (31a) East Barnet (31b) Finchley (31d) Hendon (31c) Friern Barnet (31e)
Bexley Bexley (23b) Erith (23a) Crayford (23c) Chislehurst and Sidcup (part) (23d)
Brent Wembley (12a) Willesden (12b)
Bromley Bromley (20c) Beckenham (20b) Orpington (20e) Penge (20a) Chislehurst and Sidcup (part) (20d)
Croydon Croydon (19a) Coulsdon and Purley (19b)
Ealing Acton (13b) Ealing (13a) Southall (13c)
Enfield Edmonton (30c) Enfield (30a) Southgate (30b)
Haringey Hornsey (29b) Tottenham (29c) Wood Green (29a)
Harrow Harrow (32)
Havering Romford (24a) Hornchurch (24b)
Hillingdon Hayes and Harlington (33c) Ruislip Northwood (33b) Uxbridge (33a) Yiewsley and West Drayton (33d)
Hounslow Brentford and Chiswick (14c) Feltham (14a) Heston and Isleworth (14b)
Kingston upon Thames Kingston upon Thames (16a) Malden and Coombe (16b) Surbiton (16c)
Merton Mitcham (17c) Merton and Morden (17b) Wimbledon (17a)
Newham West Ham (27a) East Ham (27b) Barking (part) (27c) Woolwich (part) (27d)
Redbridge Ilford (26a) Wanstead and Woodford (26b) Dagenham (part) (26c) Chigwell (part) (26d)
Richmond upon Thames Barnes (15a) Richmond (15b) Twickenham (15c)
Sutton Beddington (18c) Carshalton (18b) Sutton and Cheam (18a)
Waltham Forest Chingford (28a) Leyton (28c) Walthamstow (28b)

See also


External links

  • London Boroughs Map
  • London borough comparison tool

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