London Boroughs

London Boroughs


Greater London was divided into thirty-two boroughs, each governed by a mayor, aldermen and councillors. The City of London had a lord mayor, a council and a sheriff. Outside the county boroughs were also urban districts and metropolitan boroughs. The urban districts were in two parts: 8 in the county boroughs and 10 in the rest of London. A few towns outside London with a large population had been incorporated during the 19th century to become municipal boroughs (Blackburn, Bradford, Brighton, Bury St Edmunds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Middlesbrough).

The metropolitan boroughs were second-tier authorities, which shared power with the county councils, My City of London ( They provided fewer services than the county boroughs, and had an additional responsibility for sewerage. The London Traffic Act 1934 established the Metropolitan Police District and divided the area into six police areas, each served by a traffic district headquarters. These divisions continued until 1974, when they were replaced by the present arrangement of 30 London boroughs. The smaller municipal boroughs and urban districts were subordinate to the county boroughs in providing services, and they held only powers that had been specifically granted to them.

The municipal boroughs had populations of less than 50,000, whilst the urban district not more than 20,000.  Metropolitan boroughs had populations of 50,000 or more. ^. There were twelve of these large units, which used a two-tier system of local government. The upper tier consisted of single-member county borough corporations; each had a permanent executive and control over the majority of functions. The lower tier comprised urban districts which had less power and suffered from more political interference.

Former Authorities

Southwark was a borough from 1965 until 1 April 1979, when it merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey to form the London Borough of Southwark. North Woolwich was part of the County Borough of Newham, and was transferred to Greater London under the London Government Act 1963. The statutory undertakings in question were never nominated to become full-fledged authorities; neither did they function as such. Consequently, they are not included in this list.

The City of London  became a London borough  in 1899. The metropolitan boroughs defined in the Table below – with the addition of the City of Westminster  – were created in 1900, when they were designated as "metropolitan boroughs" by the London Government Act 1899. This act also transferred areas from two counties into the London area. Until 1900, the areas that became metropolitan boroughs simply remained as urban sanitary districts. A number of authorities have governed London and its environs throughout history, beginning with the yeomanry of the City of London after the Norman invasion.

These were not metropolitan authorities, with the exception of the Greater London Council. Greenwich, however, was a county borough from 1889 to 1965. A small central London borough formed from parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn and Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone, and originally known as St Marylebone. Northolt: 75%, part of Perivale was added to Uxbridge and Ruislip-Northwood in 1974. The Docklands Light Railway also runs every 15 minutes on Friday and Saturday nights between 12:30am to 4:30am in both directions.

Greater London Authority

The GLA was established in 2000 as a strategic authority, with the power to run the London Underground, transport policy and planning, licensing, and environment policy. In 2003 it gained additional powers over education and social exclusion, taking over these from the Cabinet Office. The following year it gained responsibility for economic development. The Mayoral system was said to be an innovation in the absence of a codified constitution for London. Before 2000 the civic governance structure in Greater London was found in the few remaining pre-Greater London boroughs which had not been amalgamated into larger entities in the 1960s and 70s.

The GLA was regulated by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, which devolved powers from the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for the Environment to enable the Mayor to develop and implement a strategic vision for London. The authority was replaced in 2000 by the Greater London Authority and the London Assembly. The GLA was abolished on 12 May 2012, with its powers being transferred to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Its responsibilities included. The Greater London Authority was created in 2000 to replace the London County Council and to prepare for the creation of the Greater London Authority (GLA) in 2000. The service was introduced following a successful trial in 2014 which ran throughout the duration of the London Design Festival. The launch of the service on the Victoria and Central lines had been much delayed since it was originally set to launch in 2015, due to a lack of staff.


With the creation of Greater London in 1965, the former area of the metropolitan boroughs became the new London Borough of Barnet. It was envisaged through the London Government Act 1963 that Barnet as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Barnet London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste management and council housing.

The London Government Act 1963 abolished the county boroughs, the municipal boroughs and some urban districts, created Greater London Council, and merged the remaining areas together to form 32 London boroughs. Under the London Government Act 1999, which came into force in 2000, twenty of the boroughs were combined with neighboring authorities to form ceremonial counties. The resulting metropolitan boroughs are a mixture of single-tier and two-tier authorities. Six county boroughs were created between 1855 and 1888.

At this time the population of the county was nearly one million. The Local Government Act 1888 created new entities called municipal boroughs to encompass areas with populations of less than 100,000. There were over 300 of these originally which were later reformed by the Local Government Act 1894. These formed a second tier of local government with limited powers. Municipal boroughs were reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and subject to further reforms in 1855 and 1882.

The boundaries of all these authorities, with the exception of Middlesex (and later Greater London) were the same as those of parliamentary constituencies, and there was a close relationship between the local government authorities and the representation of the area in Parliament. The London Government Act 1899 split Middlesex into inner and outer divisions, with the same powers and functions within the two, and created four new metropolitan boroughs. The London Traffic Act 1924 created a single system of transport governance for the county and its 32 London boroughs.

London Borough Councils

There are twenty-eight London boroughs, each a separately elected local authority with its own administrative headquarters and mayor. The City of London has a special status as it is both inside the London region and separate from 21 other boroughs. All London borough councils belong to the London Councils association.  Most borough councils manage only the smaller residential areas within their boundaries, with other nearby settlements (generally villages) managed by joint boards or committees.

Some larger areas of countryside and parks also fall within the remit of authorities other than those covering the built-up area: see next section. There are currently twenty-eight London boroughs, which are the principal sub-national administrative division (as opposed to the ceremonial county of Greater London), each having a population in excess of 100,000.  The powers and functions of London boroughs vary but there is no uniformity within London. Seven boroughs operate a “ unitary ” council system and three others (.

Name And Boundary Changes

A review team was established by the borough in 1979, to review services and make savings which led to a massive voluntary redundancy programme.  The redundancy programme was not without contention and resulted in strikes by council workers and grave diggers stopping work. The grave diggers were ordered back to work by a court injunction. By the end of the redundancy programme in 1982, just 214 staff remained. The former boroughs of Hammersmith and Chiswick were merged into a single London Borough of Hammersmith on 1 April 1965; in 1965 Chiswick had, but this had declined somewhat to 147,000 by 1972.

The Local Government Act 1972 provides for the name of a local authority district and its council to be changed. The governance of all local authorities in England is now undertaken on a uniform basis with this Act. The Local Government and Rating Act 1997 established that, on 1 April 1998, county councils in England would have their areas changed to match the non-metropolitan county boundaries and their 'council'name to be coterminous with the new area's 'non-metropolitan district'name.

Some districts were merely renamed while others saw boundary changes. The Local Government Act 1985 permitted a borough to adopt a name with a different boundary from that which had been used in the 1971 census; this enabled the correct identification of electoral wards. The London Borough of Croydon was renamed as the London Borough of Croydon on 1 April 1990, following a review by its Borough Council which had recommended adoption of such a change.

The London Government Act 1963 had provided for the creation of 28 metropolitan boroughs in the County of London (including the City of London) and 12 non-metropolitan districts elsewhere in England. A further review in 1967/8 created 32 London boroughs and 39 other non-metropolitan districts, bringing the total to 71. The boroughs and districts continued to use their existing coats of arms, although the logos of the successor councils of the transferors were added to those arms.