London Borough of Bexley

Infobox London Borough | name = London Borough of Bexley
short_name = Bexley
adminhq = Broadway, Bexleyheath
imagename =

status = London borough | area_rank = 289th
area_km2 = 60.56
ons_code = 00AD | url = [http://www.bexley.gov.uk/ LB Bexley]
leadership = Leader & Cabinet
mayor = Cllr Nick O'Hare
mps = John Austin
Derek Conway
David Evennett
gla_constituency = Bexley and Bromley
gla_member = James Cleverly
The London Borough of Bexley (audio|En-uk-LBBexley.ogg|pronunciation) is a London borough in south east Greater London which forms, with other boroughs, part of Outer London. The head office of Bexley London Borough Council is in Bexleyheath. Bexley is twinned with Évry in France and with Arnsberg in Germany.

Neighbours

Within London, it has common borders with the London Borough of Bromley to the south, the London Borough of Greenwich to the west and the River Thames is the northern boundary with the London Borough of Havering and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. To the east there is a boundary with the Dartford borough in Kent.

History

The London Borough of Bexley was formed in 1965, under the London Government Act 1963 from the Municipal Borough of Bexley, the Municipal Borough of Erith, the Crayford Urban District half of the Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District (the other half going to the new London Borough of Bromley).

The Council now styles itself the "London Borough of Bexley" in common with its formal name, although it previously styled itself "Bexley London Borough" until 1999 (possibly to maintain the link with its predecessor, Bexley Municipal Borough), and "Bexley Council" from 1999 to October 2007, when it reverted to its full formal name in conjunction with the adoption of a new Council logo bearing this name alongside the 1965 Coat of Arms [See bexley.gov.uk for report to the Leader of the Council, 11 October 2007] .

The town of Bexley, Ohio, United States was named at the suggestion of an early resident, Mr. Kilbourne, in honour of his family's roots in Bexley, England. (Bexley, Ohio, is a suburb of the city of Columbus, the state capital of Ohio.)

A suburb of Sydney, Australia bears the name of Bexley, New South Wales.

Open spaces

Although located at the edge of the London metropolis, the London Borough of Bexley includes much open land. The ring of high ground that surrounds South London comes to an end in the Borough. The prominent Shooters Hill, on the boundary with the London Borough of Greenwich, is a part of that high ground, which then sweeps from Welling, at its eastern base, to Belvedere. The land falls away to the north of the high ground, down to the River Thames. At Belvedere, the land drops down to the old port of Erith and is constrained and bounded in the east by the River Cray. This high land was mostly heathland, lying either side of the old Roman road (Watling Street) between Crayford and Welling. To the north was the Thames and Erith, to the south the Rivers Cray and Shuttle and Bexley. The 19th Century saw this vast area covered in housing, but small pockets of green remain: Lying to the west of Erith and Lower Belvedere, there are still the ruins of Lesnes Abbey surrounded by woodland. The high ground immediately to the south-east of the old Abbey was called Lessness Heath. The area immediately to the north and west of the old Abbey is known as Abbey Wood, taking its name from the extensive woodland that once belonged to the Abbey. A small amount of public open space remains in Northumberland Heath, an area of the high ground to the south of Erith. The flanks of Shooters Hill remain heavily wooded (Oxleas Wood and Falcon Wood) and there is a working farm on the eastern and north-eastern sides. Bexley Heath (name changed to Bexleyheath by the railway company a few years after the station was opened) is completely covered in housing and now forms the main shopping centre, as well as the administrative centre, of the London Borough of Bexley. Danson Park, in Welling, and Hall Place Gardens near Bexley provide public open spaces. Renovated Danson House is now open to the public. To the south, the River Cray flows into the Borough flanked by Foots Cray Meadows, and it then continues northwards past Hall Place to Crayford, exiting the Borough to join the River Darent north of Dartford before it in turn flows into the River Thames.

Churches

The greater part of the population are nominal Anglicans, but a number of Roman Catholic churches and non-conformist congregations exist.
Baptists,
Plymouth Brethren,
Methodist. There are no Jewish congregations.A small selection of churches is given here:St Paulinus, Crayford. Parts of this church date back to the 12th century with additions made in the later medieval period. St John the Baptist, Erith. A Norman church dating from the 12th century. The Wheatley Chapel was the burial place of successive Lords of the Manor.St Mary the Virgin, Bexley. The building dates from the 12th century, but much was restored in the 19th century.All Saints, Foots Cray. An ancient church, heavily restored in the 1860sSt James, North Cray. An old church but rebuilt in the 19th century.Greek Orthodox Church, Welling. Probably of 13th century origin (formerly the parish church of St Michael).Christ Church, Erith. 19th century building. Grade II listed interior.Bethany Hall, Chapel Road, Bexleyheath, now a meeting house of the Plymouth Brethren though originally a Methodist chapel.

London Fire Brigade

The London Borough of Bexley has three fire stations within its boundary; Erith, Sidcup and Bexley. Bexley fire station's station ground is the largest of the three; covering 23.7 kmsq [ [http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/about_us/media/Bexley.pdf London Fire Brigade - Bexley Profile] .] One pumping appliance, a fire rescue unit and an incident response unit reside there. Although it doesn't have the largest station ground, Erith was the busiest station in 2006/2007, responding to 1,314 incidents - two pumping appliances are based there. The third station, Sidcup, attended the least incidents in the same time period - 785. One pumping appliance is situated there. [ [http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/about_us/media/Bexley.pdf London Fire Brigade - Bexley Profile] .]

The three fire stations attended 3,095 incidents in the 2006/2007 period.

[http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/about_us/media/Bexley.pdf London Fire Brigade - Bexley Profile]

Education

Primary schools

:"List of primary schools (except where otherwise indicated) in LB Bexley. (N) indicates nursery facilities. Source" [ [http://www.bexley.gov.uk/service/schools/primary/index.html Primary schools in LB Bexley] , accessed 11 May 2007] ;Higher Education and Vocational Education
*Rose Bruford College
*Sidcup Art College

Transport

Bexley is one of only six London Boroughs not to have at least one London Underground station within its boundaries, although it does have a number of suburban National Rail stations.

Railway stations

* Albany Park railway station
* Barnehurst railway station
* Belvedere railway station
* Bexley railway station
* Bexleyheath railway station
* Crayford railway station
* Erith railway station
* Falconwood railway station
* Sidcup railway station
* Slade Green railway station
* Welling railway station

In addition, a further station is located on the borough boundary with Greenwich:
* Abbey Wood railway station

Places

Localities

It includes the following areas:
* Albany Park
* Barnehurst
* Barnes Cray
* Belvedere
* Bexley, sometimes called "Old Bexley" or "Bexley Village"
* Bexleyheath, formerly spelled "Bexley Heath"
* Blackfen
* Blendon
* Bostall
* Bridgen
* Coldblow
* Crayford
* Crook Log
* Crossness
* East Wickham
* Erith
* Falconwood
* Foots Cray
* Lamorbey
* Lessness Heath
* Longlands
* Lower Belvedere
* May Place
* North Cray
* North End
* Northumberland Heath
* Old Bexley
* Slade Green
* Sidcup
* Upper Belvedere
* Upton
* Welling
* West Heath

As well as parts of
* Abbey Wood (some of it is in the London Borough of Greenwich)
* Thamesmead (some of it is in the London Borough of Greenwich)
* Falconwood (some of it is in the London Borough of Greenwich)
* Ruxley (some of it is in the London Borough of Bromley)

Postcode areas

SE2 (part), SE9 (part), SE28 (part), DA1 (part), DA3 (all), DA5(all), DA6 (all), DA7 (all), DA8 (all), DA14 (all), DA15 (all), DA16 (all), DA17 (all), DA18 (all).

Political composition

There are 21 wards represented on Bexley Council; they are:

*Barnehurst

*Belvedere

*Blackfen and Lamorbey

*Blendon and Penhill

*Brampton

*Christchurch

*Colyers

*Cray Meadows (Foots Cray, North Cray and Ruxley)

*Crayford

*Danson Park

*East Wickham

*Erith

*Falconwood and Welling

*Lesnes Abbey

*Longlands

*North End

*Northumberland Heath

*Sidcup

*St Mary's

*St Michael's

*Thamesmead East

All Bexley Council seats were up for re-election during the election on May 4, 2006.
Previously Labour held control of the council by a margin of one (32 Labour to 31 Conservative councillors). In the election, the Conservatives took 23 seats from Labour, giving the newly elected council's political composition as:

Conservative: 54
Labour: 9

Westminster Parliament

The borough contains the constuencies of:
* Old Bexley and Sidcup
* Erith and Thamesmead (shared with the London Borough of Greenwich)
* Bexleyheath and Crayford

At the 2005 General Election, Erith and Thamesmead is represented by a Labour Party MP while the remaining two seats were held by the Conservative Party.

However on 29 January 2008 the Conservative Party whip was withdrawn from Old Bexley and Sidcup's MP Derek Conway following alleged misuse of funds, leaving him as an Independent MP.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.achurchnearyou.com/venue.php?V=9832 Saint Martin's, The Church of England Parish Church of Barnehurst]
* [http://www.bexley.gov.uk/localstudies/.html Bexley Local Studies & Archive Centre]
* [http://www.bexley.gov.uk/visiting/history.html Bexley's Heritage - A Brief History]
* [http://www.bexley.gov.uk/service/libportal-bexley.html Bexley Council Internet Links]
* [http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/bexley/index.html ideal homes: suburbia in focus - Bexley]
* [http://www.bexleyweb.co.uk/ Bexley Community Website]
* [http://www.sidcupsymphony.org.uk/ Sidcup Symphony Orchestra]
* [http://www.lacv.btik.com Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers (LACV)]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bexley_freecycle Bexley Freecycle]


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