- London Government Act 1963
The London Government Act 1963 (1963 c. 33) is an act of the UK parliament, which recognised officially the
conurbationknown as Greater Londonand created a new local governmentstructure for the capital. The act significantly reduced the number of local government districts in the area, resulting in local authorities responsible for larger areas and populations. The upper tier of local government was reformed to cover the whole of the Greater London and with a more strategic role; and the split of functions between upper and lower tiers was recast. The act classified the boroughs into inner and outer London groups. The City of Londonand its corporation were essentially unreformed by the legislation. Subsequent amendments to the act have signigicantly amended the upper tier arrangements, with the Greater London Councilconstituted in the legislation replaced by the Greater London Authority. As of 2008, the London boroughs are more or less identical to those created in 1965, although with some enhanced powers over services such as waste management and education.
Provisions of the Act
The Act set up a two-tier local government system, with powers divided between the newly formed
Greater London Council(GLC), 32 new London borough councils and the existing City of London. The provisions of the Act came into effect on April 1, 1965, the new councils having been elected as "shadow authorities" in 1964.
Section 1 of the Act established 32 London boroughs, each of which was to be governed by an elected borough council, and was to be regulated by the
Municipal Corporations Act 1882and Local Government Act 1933. Twelve of the boroughs, corresponding to the former County of London, were designated "Inner London boroughs". The remaining twenty boroughs were designated "Outer London boroughs". None of the boroughs were given names in the Act.
Section 2 declared that the "area comprising the areas of the London boroughs, the City and the Temples shall constitute an administrative area to be known as Greater London". An elected Greater London Council was to govern the new area.
Section 3 abolished the administrative counties of
Middlesexand London (created in 1889), and absorbed parts of Kent, Essex, Surreyand Hertfordshireplus the whole of the City of Londonto form the administrative area of Greater London. As well the two counties, the twenty-eight existing metropolitan boroughs, plus all county boroughs, county districts or parishes that fell wholly within Greater London were to cease to exist, along with their councils. No part of Greater London was to form part of any administrative county, county district or parish. Three Middlesex urban districtsnot included in Greater London were transferred to other counties: Potters Bar to Hertfordshireand Staines and Sunbury-on-Thames to Surrey.
The Act also established the
Inner London Education Authorityto administer schools and colleges in the 12 inner London boroughs. The remaining 20 outer boroughs became local education authorities in their own right. The London Traffic Areaand the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, set up in 1924, were abolished, with the GLC gaining powers to regulate road traffic. An alteration was also made to the Metropolitan Police Districtto include the whole of Greater London, but the district continued to include a number of areas in surrounding counties.
Local Government Act 1985would abolish the GLC and devolve its functions to the London boroughs and to central government.
The composition of the London boroughs was given in Schedule 1 of the Act:
#The metropolitan boroughs of Westminster, Paddington and St Marylebone.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Finsbury and Islington.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and Stepney.
#The metropolitan borough of Greenwich and so much of the metropolitan borough of Woolwich as lay south of the centre of the navigable channel of the
River Thamesat low water.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Deptford and Lewisham.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Bermondsey, Camberwell and Southwark.
#The metropolitan borough of Lambeth and so much of the metropolitan borough of Wandsworth as lay east of Hazelbourne Road, Cavendish Road, the railway between Balham and Streatham Common stations and the railway between Streatham and Mitcham Junction stations.
#The metropolitan borough of Battersea and the remainder of the metropolitan borough of Wandsworth not included in borough 9.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Fulham and Hammersmith.
#The metropolitan boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington
#The boroughs of Chingford, Leyton and Walthamstow
#The borough of Ilford, the borough of Wanstead and Woodford, so much of the borough of Dagenham as lay north of Billet Road and an area in the south of the urban district of Chigwell including the Hainault Estate.
#The borough of Romford and the urban district of Hornchurch.
#The borough of Barking except the part in Borough 17 and the borough of Dagenham except the part in Borough 14.
#The county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham, so much of the borough of Barking as lay west of the
River Rodingand Barking Creek and the part of the metropolitan borough of Woolwich not included in Borough 6.
#The boroughs of Bexley and Erith, the urban district of Crayford, and so much of the urban district of Chislehurst and Sidcup as lay north of the
#The boroughs of Beckenham and Bromley, the urban districts of Orpington and Penge, and so much of the urban district of Chislehurst and Sidcup as lay south of the A20 road.
#The county borough of Croydon and the urban district of Coulsdon and Purley.
#The borough of Beddington and Wallington, the borough of Sutton and Cheam and the urban district of Carshalton.
#The boroughs of Mitcham and Wimbledon and the urban district of Merton and Morden.
#The borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, the borough of Malden and Coombe and the borough of Surbiton.
#The boroughs of Barnes, Richmond and Twickenham.
#The borough of Brentford and Chiswick, the borough of Heston and Isleworth, and the urban district of Feltham.
#The borough of Uxbridge, the urban district of Hayes and Harlington, the urban district of Ruislip-Northwood, and the urban district of Yiewsley and West Drayton.
#The boroughs of Acton, Ealing and Southall.
#The boroughs of Wembley and Willesden.
#The borough of Harrow.
#The boroughs of Finchley and Hendon, and the urban districts of Barnet, East Barnet and Friern Barnet.
#The boroughs of Hornsey, Tottenham and Wood Green.
#The boroughs of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate.
As passed, the Act did not include names for the new boroughs. Keith Joseph, the Minister, asked local councils for suggestions as to possible names, asking that they be a single word if possible, and noting that "the best name will be the place recognised as the centre of the new borough". Double-barrelled names were to be prohibited. [Choosing Names For New Boroughs. The Times. June 25, 1963.] [Where Judgement of Solomon Will Be Required: Minister to Have Final Word on Names of New London Boroughs. The Times. August 8, 1963.]
Nine names were without controversy and were proposed in September, 1963. [Names for Nine New Boroughs of London. The Times. September 14, 1963.]
*Westminster (Borough 1)
*Camden (Borough 2) - "virtually in the centre of the three boroughs"
*Tower Hamlets (Borough 5) - a historic alternate name for the
Tower divisionof Middlesex
Redbridge(Borough 14) - named for a red bridge of the River Rodingin Ilford
*Newham (Borough 17) - combination of
East Hamand West Ham
*Croydon (Borough 20)
*Kingston upon Thames (Borough 23)
*Ealing (Borough 27)
*Haringey (Borough 31) - a variant spelling of
Six new names were proposed by the Minister in October, 1963 for boroughs unable to decide upon a name [Minister Names New Boroughs. The Times. October 30, 1963]
*Bexley (Borough 18)
*Bromley (Borough 19)
*Sutton (Borough 21)
*Richmond upon Thames (Borough 24)
*Hounslow (Borough 25)
Uxbridge(ultimately changed to Hillingdon) (Borough 26)
The Minister proposed a further twelve names in January, 1964 [Chelsea Name Retained: New Decisions on Three Boroughs. The Times. January 3, 1964.]
*Greenwich (not Charlton as previously suggested) (Borough 6)
*Hillingdon (not Uxbridge) (Borough 26)
*Islington (Borough 3)
*Hackney (Borough 4)
*Lewisham (Borough 7)
*Southwark (Borough 8)
*Wandsworth (Borough 10)
*Kensington and Chelsea (Borough 12)
*Waltham Forest (Borough 13)
*Havering (Borough 15) - after the former
Royal Liberty of Haveringwhich covered a similar area
*Barking (Borough 16)
*Morden (Borough 22) (ultimately changed to Merton)
*Barnet (Borough 30)
*Enfield (Borough 32)
*Hammersmith and Fulham (Borough 11) were unable to choose a single name, and sent a shortlist to the Minster including "Riverside" and "Olympia". Wembley and Willesden (Borough 28) wished to be called "Willesden and Wembley", but was ultimately titled Brent after the
Chelsea was unwilling to lose its name, and the
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelseawas the only double-barrelled name to be permitted. The name "Royal Borough of Charlton" was proposed for Greenwich/Woolwich (Borough 6), whilst Lewisham and Deptford (Borough 7) were also unable to agree on whether the borough should be named Lewisham, Deptford or Ravensbourne. The councils to become part of the London Borough of Barnet(Borough 30) suggested "Northgate" or "Northern Heights" as names. Islington and Finsbury (Borough 3) were also unable to come to a decision, with Finsbury preferring "New River" and Islington preferring Islington. Richmond and Twickenham(Borough 24) disagreed over which, if any of those names should appear in the new borough names. Suggestions for Enfield (Borough 32) included " Enfield Chase" and "Edmonton Hundred".
Local Government Act 1972would later provide a mechanism for councils to change their names, and both the London Borough of Hammersmithand the London Borough of Barkingchanged their names after their creation to contain a second locality: to "Hammersmith and Fulham" and "Barking and Dagenham", respectively.
Distribution of functions
The split of functions between the new authorities were: [Redcliffe-Maud & Wood, B., "English Local Government Reformed", (1974)]
royal commissionwas appointed in 1957 under the chairmanship of Sir Edwin Herbert to consider future local government structures in Greater London. The commission delivered its report in October 1960 proposing the creation of a Greater London with 52 Greater London Boroughs.
The Greater London area set up by the 1963 Act was very similar to that proposed by the Herbert Report, with the exclusion of
Banstead, Caterham and Warlingham, Esher, Walton and Weybridge in Surrey, Chigwellin Essex, Cheshuntin Hertfordshire, and Staines and Sunbury in Middlesex.
Passage through Parliament
The government felt that the boroughs should be fewer and larger, and published its plan for 34 London boroughs in late 1961. [Government Plan for 34 London Boroughs. The Times. December 19, 1961.] In the County of London area this reorganised the proposed boroughs so that the pairings leading to the present boroughs of Camden, Westminster and Islington were achieved. The Hackney borough had Shoreditch rather than the Tower Hamlets borough, whilst south of the river, Lewisham would be standalone, Deptford would combine with Camberwell and Bermondsey, and Southwark and Lambeth would unite. Eastern Wandsworth was to form a borough in itself, with western Wandsworth being paired with Battersea.
Outside the county of London area the boroughs were to be:
*Chigwell (north of the Roding)/Chingford/Leyton/Walthamstow/Wanstead and Woodford
*Chigwell (south of the Roding)/Ilford
*Barking/Dagenham/Hornchurch (Rainham and South Hornchurch wards)
*East Ham/West Ham/
*Bexley/Chislehurst and Sidcup/Crayford/Erith
*Caterham and Warlingham/Coulsdon and Purley/Croydon
*Banstead/Beddington and Wallington/Carshalton/Epsom and Ewell/Sutton and Cheam
*Merton and Morden/Mitcham/Wimbledon
*Esher/Kingston/Maldon and Coombe/Surbiton/Walton and Weybridge
*Brenford and Chiswick/Feltham/Heston and Isleworth/Staines/Sunbury
*Hayes and Harlington/Ruislip-Northwood/Uxbridge/Yiewsley and West Drayton
*East Barnet/Enfield (part)/Friern Barnet/Hornsey/Southgate/Wood Green
The Minister of Housing and Local Government announced that Cheshunt, Chigwell, Esher, Staines and Sunbury were to be excluded from Greater London on
May 18, 1961, having already announced the exclusion of Banstead, Caterham and Warlinghamand Walton and Weybridge. The requests by Romford, Barnet, Carshalton, Coulsdon and Purley, Feltham, and Yiewsley and West Drayton to be removed from the area were turned down. Additionally, it was stated that the "northern part of the borough of Epsom and Ewell definitely forms part of Greater London and must be included", although Epsomwas to be excluded. [Five More Towns Now Out Of London Plan. The Times. May 19, 1962] Epsom and Ewell would ultimately be excluded from the area in its entirety.
Changes published in August 1962 saw a reduction from 33 to 32 boroughs with the association of Clapham/Streatham with the
London Borough of Lambeth; Shoreditch joining Hackney - also Wanstead and Woodford would be added to Ilford to form the London Borough of Redbridgerather than the London Borough of Waltham Forest; Chislehurst and Sidcupwould be divided between the London Borough of Bromleyand the London Borough of Bexley, and that East Barnet, Friern Barnet, Hendon, and Finchleywould form a single London Borough of Barnet, and that Enfield would join Edmonton and Southgate (in the London Borough of Enfield), and the association of Tottenham, Hornsey and Wood Green (to form the London Borough of Haringey). [Changes In Proposals For London Council Areas: Ministry Accepts Recommendations. The Times. August 3, 1962.]
The Local Government Bill was finally published in November 1962 [London Government Bill. Fewer, Bigger, Boroughs To Run Own Education, Central Control Over Water. The Times. November 23, 1962] proposed essentially the 32 London boroughs that were created.
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