Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other towns in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the former area of Bushey Urban District and Potters Bar Urban District with Elstree Rural District and part of Watford Rural District (the parish of Aldenham).

The name "Hertsmere" was invented for the new district by combining the name of the county with "mere", an archaic word for boundary. The name is doubly appropriate as the area is now the southern boundary of Hertfordshire with Greater London, while up to 1965 parts of the district were on either side of the county boundary with Middlesex. The name is reflected in the council's coat of arms, which shows a hart upon the battlements of a boundary wall.

The district was awarded borough status by Royal Charter in 1977.

The borough was originally in the Metropolitan Police District, despite being outside the modern Greater London boundaries. It was not transferred to Hertfordshire Constabulary until 2000.


Hertsmere is the location of the Big Brother house.


In the 2001 census, Hertsmere polled as the second most Jewish local authority in England, with Jews composing one in nine residents. [ [http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SDDRGVT "Kosher in the country" "The Economist" 01 Jun 2006] accessed 14 August 2007]


The first council was elected in 1973 as a shadow authority, and was under no overall control: the Conservative Party won 25 seats, Labour 17 and the Liberals 13.

In 1976 the Conservatives gained a majority on the council which they held until 1994. For the next two years the council was under no overall control. The Labour Party controlled the council from 1996 to 1999, when the Conservatives regained control, which they have held since that date.

There are 39 elected councillors, of which 31 are Conservative. There are 5 Liberal Democrats elected for wards in Bushey, and 3 Labour councillors representing wards in the Borehamwood area.

The council is elected by thirds, with the most recent election held on 1 May, 2008.

Until 1983 the borough was included in the parliamentary constituency of Hertfordshire South. In 1983 the constituency was renamed Hertsmere.

Hertsmere has been represented in Parliament by Conservative, James Clappison since 1992. He succeeded Cecil Parkinson who had been Member of Parliament for the area since 1974.


The borough contains four parishes:
*Elstree and Borehamwood (Town)

The areas of the former Bushey and Potters Bar urban districts are unparished.


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