London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Havering

Infobox London Borough | name = London Borough of Havering
short_name = Havering
adminhq = Main Road, Romford
imagename =

status = London borough | area_rank = 231st
area_km2 = 112.27 | area_link = 1 E8 m²
ons_code = 00AR | ethnicity = 93.2% White
2.8% South Asian
2.4% African-Caribbean
url =
leadership = Leader & Cabinet | Cllr. Michael White | mayor = —
mps = James Brokenshire
Andrew Rosindell
Angela Watkinson
gla_constituency = Havering and Redbridge
gla_member = Roger Evans
The London Borough of Havering (audio|En-uk-LBHavering.ogg|pronunciation) is a London borough in East London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in Havering is Romford and the other main settlements are Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. The borough is mainly characterised by suburban development with large areas of protected open space. In contrast, Romford is a major metropolitan retail and night time entertainment centre and to the south the borough extends into the London Riverside redevelopment area of the Thames Gateway. [cite local authority | url= | name=Havering |type=London Borough Council | title=Ideas for London Riverside |accessdate=2008-03-20] The name Havering is a reference to the Royal Liberty of Havering which occupied the area for several centuries.


In 2007 the borough had a population of 226,200 in 93,200 households over convert|43|sqmi|km2|1. There is a high ratio of area per capita as large sections of Havering are parkland and convert|23|sqmi|km2|0 (more than half the borough) is greenbelt protected land. Those areas of development are extensive but rarely intensive. It has, at 2.6%, [ [ Neighbourhood statistics for Havering (National Statistics)] accessed 4 June 2007] the lowest unemployment rate in Greater London and one of the lowest crime rates.

Havering has a significantly higher proportion of residents in white ethnic groups than other outer London boroughs (95.1% – 2001 census). The Indian population is the most significant minority ethnic group in Havering (1.2%). The Upminster ward of the borough is the least ethnically diverse in Greater London, with a Simpson's diversity index of 1.05. [cite local authority| name=Greater London | type=Authority | url= |title=London's changing population | date = 2005 | accessdate=2007-06-04]


Havering is bordered to the south with the London Borough of Bexley by the River Thames, to the west with the London Borough of Redbridge and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, to the north with Essex and the east with Thurrock.

Industry and commerce

There are over 7,000 businesses based in Havering. Romford is the main commercial hub of the borough with a small district of mainly office development close to the railway station. There is also some industry to the south between Rainham and the River Thames. Light industry elsewhere in the borough has been in decline, with major employers such as the former Star Brewery now closed down. [cite local authority| name=Havering | type=London Borough Council | url= |title=Romford Area Action Plan | date = March 2006 | accessdate= ]

The main retail district is also located in Romford with several interconnected or nearby shopping arcades to the main Liberty Shopping Centre. Romford Market is located to the north of Romford and is the largest market within the borough and in the surrounding area. Hornchurch and Upminster are the other main retail centres with extensive high street shopping areas.

Romford has a developed night-time economy with one of the highest concentrations of bars and nightclubs anywhere in Greater London outside the West End. Because of this concentration of entertainment facilities in one place and transport options radiating from that district, there are no other significant entertainment zones in the borough.

Havering London Borough Council applied to the Government to allow a 'super-casino' to be built in the south of the borough, [ [ BBC News] - 'Super-casino' shortlist set out (2006)] however the application was rejected in May 2006. [ [ BBC News] - Prescott casino influence denied (2006)]


The London Borough of Havering was created in 1965 by the combined former area of the Municipal Borough of Romford and Hornchurch Urban District which had been transferred to Greater London from Essex by the London Government Act 1963. The name originates from the Royal Liberty of Havering which covered broadly, but not exactly, the same area and had been abolished in 1892. [ [;jsessionid=B36274A399A9321259843017706B3F45?u_id=10166913 Vision of Britain] - Havering London Borough]

In 2004 a wind turbine was constructed on the Ford Motors plant grounds, which encroach on the south west of the borough, with another turbine in adjacent Barking and Dagenham. [ [ Mayor of London] - Planning decision (2003)]

Early history

Modern settlement originated in Anglo-Saxon times when it consisted of Havering Palace and the surrounding lands that belonged to the king. The palace itself is known to have existed since at least the reign of Edward the Confessor when it was one of his primary residences. The area formed a liberty from 1465 which included the parishes of Havering atte Bower, Hornchurch and Romford.

The name Havering appears in documents from around the 12th century. The origins of this name have been debated by historians since the Middle Ages when it was linked to the legend of Edward the Confessor and a mystical ring returned to him by Saint John the Apostle. The event being commemorated in stained glass (from about 1407) in a chapel at Romford, that was dedicated to the king. [ [ 'Parishes: Havering-atte-Bower', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7 (1978), pp. 9-17] accessed: 4 June 2007.]


Because of London Underground and fast rail connections to central London from transport hubs at Romford and Upminster much of Havering has considerable residential development which has occurred throughout the last century.

The development of the borough came in two distinct phases. The first middle class suburban developments were built in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. The garden suburbs of Upminster, Emerson Park and Gidea Park (also known as Romford Garden Suburb) were spurred on by the building of the railway lines through Havering from Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street in the late 19th century.

In the 1930s the District Line was electrified and extended to Upminster with new stations at Elm Park and Upminster Bridge. Also at this time new industries near the area such as the Ford Motor Company plant at Dagenham caused a new wave of mostly working class developments along the route of the new Underground line. In addition to this, to the north of the borough, the large housing estates of Harold Hill and Collier Row were constructed to deal with the chronic housing shortages and early slum clearance programmes in central London.


This pattern of 'garden suburb' with inter- and post-war housing development still exists in the borough. Plans to extend existing developments in much of the borough are blocked by the strict Green Belt laws. In contrast, the southern part of Havering adjacent to the Thames is within the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. New open spaces and large scale house building to provide an entirely new residential community is planned.

The most built-up areas are the traditional garden suburb districts of Hornchurch, Emerson Park, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Romford and Upminster. These places have developed over the last hundred years to form a large area of continuous urban sprawl with indistinct boundaries.

Part of the sprawling residential area are the later developments of Ardleigh Green, Chase Cross, Collier Row, Elm Park, Harold Hill, Rainham. In contrast, Havering-atte-Bower, North Ockendon, Noak Hill, and Wennington are less intensively developed outlying districts surrounded by large areas of open land.



The M25 motorway forms part of the borough boundary to the east with North Ockendon the only settlement to fall outside. The A12 (near Romford) and the A13 (near Rainham) are the main trunk radial routes from central London and are located to the north and south of the borough respectively. The A127 trunk route to Southend begins at Gallows Corner; which also forms the eastern end of the A118 local artery from Stratford. The A124 local artery from Canning Town terminates at Upminster.

Public transport

The District Line of the London Underground runs roughly through the middle of the borough serving Elm Park, Hornchurch, Upminster Bridge and Upminster. There is an extensive network of London Bus routes in the borough, linking all districts to Romford and other places beyond the borough. [ [ Transport for London] - Bus maps of Havering]

The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (operated by c2c) passes through the borough in two places. The mainline, running adjacent to the District Line serves Upminster while a branch line serves Rainham. The Great Eastern Main Line (operated by National Express East Anglia) passes through the north of the borough serving Romford, Gidea Park and Harold Wood. The Upminster branch of that railway, which is entirely contained within the borough, serves Emerson Park and Upminster.

New transport options, linked to the Thames Gateway project, including further stations on the Rainham branch of the c2c line and the building of the East London Transit are being considered.

List of stations

*Elm Park tube station - District Line
*Emerson Park railway station - National Express
*Gidea Park railway station - National Express
*Harold Wood railway station - National Express
*Hornchurch tube station - District Line
*Rainham railway station - c2c
*Romford railway station - National Express
*Upminster station - District Line, c2c and National Express
*Upminster Bridge tube station - District Line

Places of interest

*"The Diver"
*Liberty Shopping Centre
*Queen's Theatre
*Romford Market
*Gidea Park - 1911 Exhibition Estate, Romford Garden Suburb
*Upminster Windmill
*Upminster Tithe Barn Museum of Nostalgia


London Borough Council

Havering elects 54 councillors from the 18 wards of Brooklands, Cranham, Elm Park, Emerson Park, Gidea Park, Gooshays, Hacton, Harold Wood, Havering Park, Heaton, Hylands, Pettits, Rainham and Wennington, Romford Town, St Andrews, South Hornchurch, Squirrels Heath and Upminster.

After the Greater London local elections, May 2006 elections the Conservative Party had a majority on the council with 34 councillors and the second largest party represented was the Residents' Association of London with 13 councillors. The Rainham Independent Residents Association had three councillors, the Labour Party had two councillors and the Liberal Democrats and the BNP hadTHere one councillor each.

There have so far been three by-elections since 2006. The Residents' Association in St Andrews Ward and the Conservatives in Squirrels Health Ward each retained one seat;the Residents' Association lost a second seat, in South Hornchurch, to an Independent candidate (but see below).

One councillor elected as a Conservative has resigned the whip snd now sits as an Independent Member.

Following the election of the Independent in South Hornchurch, he joined the Leader of the Rainham Indepedent Residents' Association in forming the Independent Local Residents' Group. The other two Rainham Independent Residents' Association Members formed the Rainham Residents' Association as a separate entity. As of October 2008, the current memebrship of the Council is thus: Conservative Party - 33; Residents' Association - 12; Independent Local Residents - 2; Labour Party - 2; and of course Rainham Residents - 2; British National Party - 1; Liberal Democrat - 1; and Independent - 1.

Since May 2004 the Leader of the London Borough of Havering has been Councillor Michael White.

London Assembly

Havering forms part of the Havering and Redbridge London Assembly constituency.

UK Parliament

Currently, the borough is split between the parliamentary constituencies of Hornchurch, Romford and Upminster with the three constituencies entirely within the borough. Before the next election the boundaries of these constituencies will change such that there will be a new Hornchurch and Upminster constituency and Rainham will become part of the new cross-borough Dagenham and Rainham constituency.


Havering is twinned with:
* Ludwigshafen,Germany
* Hesdin, France


The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools.


London South Bank University also have a campus in Havering. Offering a wide range of health related courses.

External links

* [ Havering Council]

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