- London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets — London borough —
Coat of arms
Greater London Sovereign state United Kingdom Constituent country England Region London Ceremonial county Greater London Status London borough Admin HQ Clove Crescent, Blackwall Incorporated 1 April 1965 Government – Type London borough council – Body Tower Hamlets London Borough Council – Leadership Mayor & Cabinet (Labour) – Executive mayor Lutfur Rahman – MPs Rushanara Ali
– London Assembly John Biggs AM for City and East – EU Parliament London Area – Total 7.6 sq mi (19.77 km2) Area rank 320th (of 326) Population (2010 est.) – Total 237,900 – Rank 58th (of 326) – Density 31,166.3/sq mi (12,033.4/km2) – Ethnicity 46.9% White British
1.4% White Irish
8.0% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.4% White & Black African
0.9% White & Asian
0.7% Other Mixed
4.5% Other Asian
2.3% Black Caribbean
3.6% Black African
0.5% Other Black
Time zone GMT (UTC0) – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1) Postcodes E Police force Metropolitan Police Website www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks and Canary Wharf. Many of the tallest buildings in London are located on the Isle of Dogs in the south of the borough. The borough has a population of 220,000, which includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in the capital, consisting mainly of Bangladeshis. The local authority is Tower Hamlets London Borough Council.
- 1 Administration
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Local landmarks
- 5 Climate
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economic profile
- 8 Education
- 9 Sports and leisure
- 10 Transport
- 11 International relations
- 12 References
- 13 Sources
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
The name "Tower Hamlets" was historically applied to the Tower division of the county of Middlesex, covering not only the present borough, but also part of the present-day London Borough of Hackney. The Constable of the Tower of London had special jurisdiction over the area from the 16th century until 1889. Inhabitants of Tower Hamlets were originally required to provide yeomen for the Tower of London. Later the Constable became Lord Lieutenant of the area, raising and organising the local militia. Under the Reform Act 1832 the area became a parliamentary borough. The name continued to be used for constituencies until 1918.
The borough was formed in 1965 and took this historic name through amalgamation of the former metropolitan boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and Stepney. These boroughs were the heart of the East End of London.
- Bethnal Green & Bow, represented by Rushanara Ali (Labour)
- Poplar & Limehouse, represented by Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour)
The borough is a part of the London constituency for election to the European Parliament. Labour has dominated national and local elections in Tower Hamlets, although other left-wing parties have won seats including Communists and more recently the Respect Unity coalition. The British National Party won its first council seat in 1993, when Derek Beackon was elected as a Millwall councillor.
London Borough Council
In May 2010 a local referendum was held to decide whether to create a directly elected executive Mayor for the Borough. Following a campaign led from within the Bangladeshi community, the referendum was won and at the ensuing Mayoral election in October 2010, Lutfur Rahman was elected Mayor.
Rahman had been selected as the Labour candidate for Mayor, and was a former Leader of the Council. However allegations were made against him and his supporters and he was suspended from the Labour Party before nominations closed. By deciding to run as a independent he was deemed to have resigned from the Labour Party. He then proceeded to create a cabinet of defectors from Labour.
At the May 2010 election, the composition of the Council was 41 Labour, 8 Conservative, 1 Respect and 1 Liberal Democrat councillor. Since then Respect gained a seat from Labour at a by-election, and in three separate groups a total of 8 Labour Councillors and one Conservative defected to Lutfur Rahman's independent group.
This shifting of political allegiances is normal for Tower Hamlets. Between the 2006 and 2010 elections five Respect councillors defected to Labour; one Respect and one Labour councillor defected to the Conservatives; one Liberal Democrat defected to Labour; and one Labour councillor was gained through a by-election at the expense of the Liberal Democrats.
Tower Hamlets is located to east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in east London. The London Borough of Hackney lies to the north of the borough while the River Lea forms the boundary with the London Borough of Newham in the east. The River Lea also forms the boundary between those parts of London historically in Middlesex, with those formerly in Essex.
The Isle of Dogs is formed from the lock entrances to the former West India Docks and the largest current meander of the River Thames and the southern part of the borough forms a part of the historic flood plain of the River Thames; and but for the Thames Barrier and other flood prevention works would be vulnerable to flooding.
The Regent's Canal enters the borough from Hackney to meet the River Thames at Limehouse Basin. A stretch of the Hertford Union Canal leads from the Regent's canal, at a basin in the north of Mile End to join the River Lea at Old Ford. A further canal, Limehouse Cut, London's oldest, leads from locks at Bromley-by-Bow to Limehouse Basin. Most of the canal tow-paths are open to both pedestrians and cyclists.
Victoria Park was formed by Act of Parliament, and administered by the LCC and its successor authority the GLC. Since the latter authority's abolition, the park has been administered by Tower Hamlets.
Part of the borough is within the boundary of the Thames Gateway development area.
Areas within the borough
Areas included in the borough:
- Bethnal Green (also partly within the London Borough of Hackney)
- Bow Common
- Cambridge Heath
- Canary Wharf
- Cubitt Town
- East Smithfield
- Fish Island
- Globe Town
- Isle of Dogs
- Mile End
- Old Ford
- St George in the East
- Tower Hamlets forms the main area of the East End of London. More detailed local histories may be available for each of the districts (above) within Tower Hamlets.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets forms the core of the East End. It lies east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Use of the term "East End" in a pejorative sense began in the late 19th century, as the expansion of the population of London led to extreme overcrowding throughout the area and a concentration of poor people and immigrants in the districts that made it up. These problems were exacerbated with the construction of St Katharine Docks (1827) and the central London railway termini (1840–1875) that caused the clearance of former slums and rookeries, with many of the displaced people moving into the area. Over the course of a century, the East End became synonymous with poverty, overcrowding, disease and criminality.
The East End developed rapidly during the 19th century. Originally it was an area characterised by villages clustered around the City walls or along the main roads, surrounded by farmland, with marshes and small communities by the River, serving the needs of shipping and the Royal Navy. Until the arrival of formal docks, shipping was required to land goods in the Pool of London, but industries related to construction, repair, and victualling of ships flourished in the area from Tudor times. The area attracted large numbers of rural people looking for employment. Successive waves of foreign immigration began with Huguenot refugees creating a new extramural suburb in Spitalfields in the 17th century. They were followed by Irish weavers, Ashkenazi Jews and, in the 20th century, Bangladeshis. Many of these immigrants worked in the clothing industry. The abundance of semi- and unskilled labour led to low wages and poor conditions throughout the East End. This brought the attentions of social reformers during the mid-18th century and led to the formation of unions and workers associations at the end of the century. The radicalism of the East End contributed to the formation of the Labour Party and demands for the enfranchisement of women.
Official attempts to address the overcrowded housing began at the beginning of the 20th century under the London County Council. World War II devastated much of the East End, with its docks, railways and industry forming a continual target, leading to dispersal of the population to new suburbs, and new housing being built in the 1950s. During the war, in the Boroughs making up Tower Hamlets a total of 2,221 civilians were killed and 7,472 were injured, with 46,482 houses destroyed and 47,574 damaged. The closure of the last of the East End docks in the Port of London in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The Canary Wharf development, improved infrastructure, and the Olympic Park mean that the East End is undergoing further change, but some of its districts continue to contain some of the worst poverty in Britain.
Media reports in the 2000s and 2010s suggested that the area was becoming Islamised, and that residents were threatened for behaviour not in accordance with what The Daily Telegraph called "fundamentalist Islamic norms". The Telegraph reported in 2011 that since 2007/2008 there had been an 80 percent increase in homophobic crimes in the area, while The Guardian said there had been a 33 percent increase in homophobic incidents between April 2009 – March 2010 and April 2010 – March 2011. Delwar Hussain, writing in The Guardian, suggests that the perpetrators of such crimes are usually Bangladeshi, a group that faced hostility and violence when they first settled in the area. In February 2011 stickers appeared in the area with the message: "Arise and warn. Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment." A man was fined for a public order offence in relation to the stickers in June 2011. In 2007 the Centre for Social Cohesion issued a report saying that libraries in the area contained a large amount of extremist Islamist literature. In 2008 councillors were asked by the council's head of democratic services to observe the Ramadan fast during meetings, a request that angered several of the councillors.
- Brick Lane
- Cable Street - site of the Battle of Cable Street
- Hawksmoor's Christ Church, Spitalfields
- Site of two historic Royal Mints
- Tower of London
- Victoria Park
The Canary Wharf complex within Docklands on the Isle of Dogs forms a group of some of the tallest buildings in Europe. One Canada Square was the first to be constructed and remains the tallest. Nearby are the HSBC Tower, Citigroup Centres and One Churchill Place, headquarters of Barclays Bank. Within the same complex are the Heron Quays offices.
This data was taken between 1971 and 2000 at the weather station in Greenwich, around 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the town hall, at Mulberry Place:
Climate data for London (Greenwich) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 14.0
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
15.2 Average low °C (°F) 2.3
7.4 Record low °C (°F) −10
Precipitation mm (inches) 55.2
Snowfall cm (inches) 24.4
% humidity 91 89 91 90 92 92 93 95 96 95 93 91 92.3 Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 10.9 8.1 9.8 9.3 8.5 8.4 7.0 7.2 8.7 9.3 9.3 10.1 106.6 Avg. snowy days 4 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 16 Sunshine hours 45.9 66.1 103.2 147.0 185.4 180.6 190.3 194.4 139.2 109.7 60.6 37.8 1,460.2 Source no. 1: Record highs and lows from BBC Weather, except August maximum from Met Office Source no. 2: All other data from Met Office, except for humidity and snow data which are from NOAA
By 1891, Tower Hamlets – roughly the civil parish of Stepney – was already one of the most populated areas in London. Throughout the 19th century, the local population increased by an average of 20% every ten years. The building of the docks intensified land use and caused the last marshy areas in the south of the parish to be drained for housing and industry. In the north of the borough employment was principally in weaving, small household industries like boot and furniture making and new industrial enterprises like Bryant and May. The availability of cheap labour drew in employers. To the south of the parish, employment was in the docks and related industries – such as chandlery and rope making. By the middle of the century, the district of Tower Hamlets was characterised by overcrowding and poverty. The construction of the railways caused many more displaced people to settle in Tower Hamlets, and a massive influx of Eastern European Jews at the end of the 19th century added to the population. This influx peaked at the end of the century and population growth entered a long decline, as the more affluent moved away and new suburbs were opened up in Essex, east of the River Lea.
The metropolitan boroughs suffered badly during World War II, during which considerable numbers of houses were destroyed or damaged beyond use. This coincided with a decline in work in the docks, and the closure of many traditional industries. The Abercrombie Plan for London (1944) began an exodus from London towards the new towns. This decline began to reverse, with the establishment of the London Docklands Development Corporation bringing new industries and housing to the brownfield sites along the river. Also contributing was new immigration from Asia beginning in the 1970s. According to the 2001 census the population of the borough is approximately 196,106. According to the ONS estimate, the population is 237,900, as of 2010.
Population since 1801 - Source: A Vision of Britain through Time Year 1801 1851 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 Population Tower Hamlets 130,871 330,548 578,143 571,438 529,114 489,956 337,774 232,860 195,833 164,699 139,989 167,985 196,121
Tower Hamlets has one of the smallest indigenous populations of the boroughs of Britain. Majority of the residents in the borough are of White ethnicity, with a large Asian community, Bangladeshis (20.6%) are the largest ethnic minority in the borough. Somalis represent the second largest minority ethnic group. There are also a number of Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, and Black African/Caribbean residents.
Tower Hamlets: Ethnicity: 2009 Office of National Statistics estimates Tower Hamlets % London % England % White 57.1 69.7 87.5 Mixed 2.8 3.5 1.9 Asian or Asian British 30.6 13.2 6.0 Black or Black British 6.3 10.1 2.9 Chinese or Other Ethnic Group 3.1 3.5 1.6 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
Bangladeshis are more likely to have large families living together. The number of Bangladeshis aged under 18 is almost double the proportion for all other Londoners. Most Bangladeshi children in London were born in the UK, while most adults were born in Bangladesh. 70% of the Bangladeshi community are below the age of 30, where 40% of these are aged 0–15 and 9% are aged 16–19. The Bangladeshi population was 33 per cent during the 2001 census, but has since dropped significantly to 21 per cent in based on the 2009 estimate, reflecting a movement to better economic circumstances and the larger houses available in the eastern suburbs.
The main religions practised in the borough are Christianity and Islam. Those identified as Christians are mostly White British and Black African, and Muslims are mainly of the Bangladeshi and Somali communities, including other ethnic groups. The Muslim proportion of the borough's population is the largest out of all local authorities in England and Wales. There are 21 active churches in Tower Hamlets affiliated with the Church of England, which include Christ Church of Spitalfields, St Paul's Church of Shadwell and St Dunstan's of Stepney and also churches of many other Christian denominations. There are around 40 mosques, including Islamic centres. The largest are the East London Mosque, the Brick Lane Mosque and the Markazi Masjid. Other notable religious buildings include the Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue, the Congregation of Jacob Synagogue, the London Buddhist Centre, the Hindu Pragati Sangha Temple, and the Gurdwara Sikh Sangat.
Religion Tower Hamlets % National % Christian 38.6% 71.7% Muslim 36.4% 3.0% Buddhist 0.9% 1.1% Jewish 0.9% 0.6% Hindu 0.8% 0.5% Sikh 0.4% 0.3% Other 0.3% 0.3% No religion 14.2% 14.8% Religion not stated 7.4% 7.7%
The borough is one of the most deprived in the country, although there are small pockets of wealthy areas. Levels of unemployment are high.
According to Ellie Rose of EastLondonLines, the area is notorious for deprivation, joblessness, and child poverty. The borough has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country; in 2010 57 percent of children were living in poverty, as defined by the Campaign to End Child Poverty in their review covering England, compared to a figure of 46 percent in the London Borough of Islington, which had the second highest rate. A similar study, covering the whole of the UK, by Save the Children gave a figure of 27 percent, which was joint highest with Manchester.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is the local education authority for state schools within the borough. As of January 2008 there are 19,890 primary-school pupils and 15,262 secondary-school pupils attending state schools in Tower Hamlets. Independent-school pupils account for 2.4 percent of schoolchildren in the borough. In 2010 51.8 percent of pupils achieved 5 A*–C GCSEs including Mathematics and English—the highest results in the borough's history—compared to the national average of 53.4 percent. Seventy-four percent achieved 5 A*–C GCSEs for all subjects (the same as the English average); the figure in 1997 was 26 percent. The percentage of pupils on free school meals in the borough is the highest in England and Wales. In 2007 the council rejected proposals to build a Goldman Sachs-sponsored academy.
Schools in the borough have high levels of racial segregation. The Times reported in 2006 that 47 percent of secondary schools were exclusively non-white, and that 33 percent had a white majority. About 60 percent of pupils entering primary and secondary school are Bangladeshi. The percentage of primary-school pupils who speak English as a second language is 78.
The council runs several Idea Stores in the borough, which combine traditional library services with other resources, and are designed to attract more diverse members. The flagship Whitechapel store was designed by David Adjaye and cost £16 million to build.
Further education colleges
- Queen Mary, a constituent college of the University of London which includes Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry
- London Metropolitan University
- Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets helps residents find volunteering work and provides support to organisations involving volunteers.
Sports and leisure
Mile End Stadium within Mile End Park hosts an athletics stadium and facilities for football and basketball. Two football clubs, Bethnal Green United F.C. and Sporting Bengal United F.C., are based there. The borough also has its own football club named Tower Hamlets FC, formed in 2009.
A leisure centre including a swimming pool at Mile End Stadium was completed in 2006. Other pools are located at St Georges, Limehouse and York Hall, in Bethnal Green. York Hall is also a regular venue for boxing tournaments, and in May 2007 a public spa was opened in the building's renovated Turkish baths.
The unusual Green Bridge, opened in 2000, links sections of Mile End Park that would otherwise be divided by Mile End Road. The bridge contains gardens, water features and trees around the path.
Parks in Tower Hamlets
Transport radiates across the borough from the City of London, with the A13 starting at Aldgate and heading east passing the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel towards Newham, and south-east Essex. The A12 also starts at Aldgate, crosses the Lea at Bow, towards Colchester and Great Yarmouth. Roads are busy at all times, particular during the rush hours; and much of the borough is a controlled parking zone, to prevent commuter parking.
The Docklands Light Railway was built to serve the docklands areas of the borough, with a principle terminus at Bank and Tower Gateway. An interchange at Poplar allows trains to proceed north to Stratford and south via Canary Wharf towards Lewisham.
Three London Underground services cross the district: the District and Hammersmith and City lines share track between Aldgate East and Barking. The Central Line has stations at Bethnal Green and Mile End - where there is an interchange to the District Line. The Jubilee Line has one stop at Canary Wharf.
London buses routes 8, 15, 25, 26, 35, 40, 42, 47, 48, 55, 78, 100, 106, 108, 115, 135, 205, 254, 276, 277, 309, 323, 339, 388, 425, 488, D3, D6, D7, D8, RV1, Night route N8, N15, N26, N35, N55, N550 and N551.
Twin Towns - Sister Cities
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- ^ See list of education authority schools.
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- "Guide: Secondary league tables", BBC News, 12 January 2011, accessed 11 July 2011.
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- Tower Hamlets Council
- LBTH find your councillor
- LBTH Ward data report (2005) Information on Tower Hamlets at the ward level
London Borough of Tower Hamlets DistrictsBethnal Green · Blackwall · Bow · Bow Common · Bromley-by-Bow · Cambridge Heath · Canary Wharf · Coldharbour · Cubitt Town · Globe Town · East Smithfield · Fish Island · Isle of Dogs · Leamouth · Limehouse · Mile End · Millwall · Old Ford · Poplar · Ratcliff · St. George in the East · Shadwell · Spitalfields · Stepney · Wapping · Whitechapel Attractions Street markets Parks and open spaces Constituencies Bridges and tunnels Tube and rail stationsAldgate East · All Saints · Bethnal Green · Bethnal Green railway station · Blackwall · Bow Church · Bow Road · Bromley-by-Bow · Cambridge Heath railway station · Canary Wharf (DLR) · Canary Wharf (tube) · Crossharbour · Devons Road · East India · Heron Quays · Island Gardens · Limehouse · Mile End · Mudchute · Poplar · Shadwell · South Quay · Stepney Green · Tower Gateway · Tower Hill · Wapping railway station · West India Quay · Westferry · Whitechapel Other topicsPeople · Public art · Schools
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London Borough of Tower Hamlets — Lage in Greater London Status London Borough Region … Deutsch Wikipedia
London Borough de Tower Hamlets — Tower Hamlets District londonien de Tower Hamlets Géographie Statut London borough Superficie Total Rang: 230e 19,77 km² Démographie … Wikipédia en Français
List of schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets — This list covers primary school and secondary schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Schools are in the state sector unless otherwise indicated.37,500 pupils go to 98 schools in Tower Hamlets. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is the… … Wikipedia
Tower Hamlets — London Borough of Tower Hamlets Lage in Greater London Status London Borough Region … Deutsch Wikipedia
London Borough of Southwark — London borough Coat of arms … Wikipedia
Tower Hamlets — District londonien de Tower Hamlets Géographie Statut London borough Superficie Total Rang: 230e 19,77 km² Démographie … Wikipédia en Français
Tower Hamlets Cemetery — auch The City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery und lokal Bow Cemetery ist ein Friedhof im East End of London nahe der U Bahn Station Mile End. Der Friedhof wurde als letzter der Magnificent Seven 1841 gegründet und schon 1966 für Beerdigungen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Tower Hamlets Cemetery — is a cemetery located in the East End of London; its nearest tube station is Mile End. The cemetery opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It is now a nature reserve, and other land has been added to the park, including Scrapyard Meadow … Wikipedia
Tower Hamlets (UK Parliament constituency) — UK former constituency infobox Name = Tower Hamlets Type = Borough Year = 1832 Abolition = 1885 members = twoTower Hamlets was a two seat constituency in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom created under the Reform Act… … Wikipedia
Tower Hamlets parks and open spaces — The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in spite of being close to the centre of London and perhaps retaining the idea of it being the docklands area, has over 100 areas of parks and open spaces within its boundaries. These range from the huge… … Wikipedia