The Info List - London Government Act 1963

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The London Government Act 1963
London Government Act 1963
(c. 33) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which recognised officially the conurbation known as Greater London
Greater London
and created a new local government structure 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
Greater London
area 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 London
City of London
and its corporation were essentially unreformed by the legislation. Subsequent amendments to the Act have significantly amended the upper tier arrangements, with the Greater London Council abolished in 1986, and the Greater London
Greater London
Authority introduced in 2000. As of 2016[update], the London boroughs
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.


1 Provisions of the Act

1.1 The boroughs

1.1.1 Names

1.2 Distribution of functions

2 Background

2.1 Herbert Report 2.2 Passage through Parliament 2.3 Support 2.4 Opposition

3 Subsequent amendments

3.1 Local Government Act 1972 3.2 Local Government Act 1985 3.3 Education Reform Act 1988 3.4 Greater London
Greater London
Authority Act 1999

4 References 5 External links

Provisions of the Act[edit] The Act set up a two-tier local government system, with powers divided between the newly formed Greater London
Greater London
Council (GLC), 32 new London borough councils and the existing City of London. The provisions of the Act came into effect on 1 April 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 1882
Municipal Corporations Act 1882
and Local Government Act 1933. Twelve of the boroughs, corresponding to the former County of London, were designated Inner London
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
Greater London
Council was to govern the new area. Section 3 abolished the administrative counties of Middlesex
and London (created in 1889), and absorbed parts of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Hertfordshire
plus the whole of the City of London
City of London
to form the administrative area of Greater London. As well as 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
Greater London
was to form part of any administrative county, county district or parish. Three Middlesex
urban districts not included in Greater London
Greater London
were transferred to other counties: Potters Bar to Hertfordshire
and Staines and Sunbury-on-Thames to Surrey. The Act also established the Inner London
Inner London
Education Authority to 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 Area and 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 District
Metropolitan Police District
to include the whole of Greater London, but the district continued to include a number of areas in surrounding counties. The boroughs[edit]

Map of London boroughs
London boroughs
as numbered in Schedule 1 of the Act. Inner London boroughs
London boroughs
are labelled in red, while the City of London
City of London
is shown in black.

The composition of the London boroughs
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 Thames
River Thames
at 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
East Ham
and West Ham, so much of the borough of Barking as lay west of the River Roding
River Roding
and Barking Creek
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
Chislehurst and Sidcup
as lay north of the A20 road. 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
East Barnet
and Friern Barnet. The boroughs of Hornsey, Tottenham and Wood Green. The boroughs of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate.

Names[edit] 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.[1][2] The 'Royal Borough of Charlton' was proposed for the Greenwich and Woolwich metropolitan boroughs. Lewisham and Deptford were unable to agree on whether the borough should be named Lewisham, Deptford or after the central river/stream, Ravensbourne. The councils to become part of the London Borough of Barnet
London Borough of Barnet
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". Nine names were without controversy and were proposed in September 1963.[3]

Westminster (Borough 1) Camden (Borough 2) – "virtually in the centre of the three boroughs" Tower Hamlets (Borough 5) – a historic alternative name for the Tower division
Tower division
of Middlesex Redbridge (Borough 14) – named for a red bridge of the River Roding in Ilford Newham (Borough 17) – combination of East Ham
East Ham
and West Ham Croydon
(Borough 20) Kingston upon Thames (Borough 23) Ealing (Borough 27) Haringey (Borough 31) – a variant spelling of Harringay

Six new names were proposed by the Minister in October 1963 for boroughs unable to decide upon a name[4]

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[5]

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 Havering which covered a similar area Barking (Borough 16) Morden (Borough 22) (ultimately changed to Merton) Barnet (Borough 30) Enfield (Borough 32) Wembley and Willesden (Borough 28) wished to be called "Willesden and Wembley", but was ultimately titled Brent after the River Brent. Hammersmith and Fulham (Borough 11) were unable to choose a single name, and sent a shortlist to the Minister including "Riverside" and "Olympia".

Councillors for the Metropolitan Boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington were divided and opposed the loss of their two ancient parish names in combining, so the Minister for Housing and Local Government made one exception and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
came into being. Distribution of functions[edit] The split of functions between the new authorities were:[6]

Greater London
Greater London
Council Shared London boroughs

Fire Ambulance Refuse disposal Land drainage Smallholdings Thames flood preventions Motor-vehicle and driving licences

Education (dependent on whether in ILEA / Outer boroughs) Roads Planning Housing Sewage Traffic

Personal health services Welfare services Children's services Libraries Refuse collection Swimming baths Weights and measures Food and drugs Public health inspection Cemeteries and crematoria Collection of rates

Background[edit] Herbert Report[edit] Main article: Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London A royal commission was 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
Greater London
with 52 Greater London Boroughs. The Greater London
Greater London
area set up by the 1963 Act was very similar to that proposed by the Herbert Report but excluded Banstead, Caterham and Warlingham, Esher, Walton and Weybridge
Walton and Weybridge
in Surrey, Chigwell
in Essex, Cheshunt
in Hertfordshire, and Staines and Sunbury in Middlesex. Passage through Parliament[edit] The government considered that the boroughs should be fewer and larger so published its plan for 34 London boroughs
London boroughs
in late 1961.[7] In the County of London
County of London
this reorganised the proposed boroughs so that combinations for the present boroughs of Camden, Westminster and Islington were achieved. The Hackney borough had Shoreditch rather than the Tower Hamlets borough. 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 former County of London, the outer London boroughs
London boroughs
were to be:

(north of the Roding – that is, Loughton
and Buckhurst Hill)/Chingford/Leyton/Walthamstow/Wanstead and Woodford Chigwell
(south of the Roding)/Ilford Hornchurch (part)/Romford Barking/Dagenham/Hornchurch (Rainham and South Hornchurch wards) East Ham/West Ham/North Woolwich Bexley/Chislehurst and Sidcup/Crayford/Erith Beckenham/Bromley/Orpington/Penge 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/Malden and Coombe/Surbiton/Walton and Weybridge Barnes/Richmond/Twickenham Brentford and Chiswick/Feltham/Heston and Isleworth/Staines/Sunbury Hayes and Harlington/Ruislip-Northwood/Uxbridge/Yiewsley and West Drayton Acton/Ealing/Southall Wembley/Willesden Harrow Barnet/Finchley/Hendon East Barnet/Enfield (part)/Friern Barnet/Hornsey/Southgate/Wood Green Cheshunt/Edmonton/Enfield (part)/Tottenham

The Minister of Housing and Local Government announced, on their request, that five urban districts (Cheshunt, Chigwell, Esher, Staines and Sunbury) were to be excluded from Greater London
Greater London
on 18 May 1961, having earlier confirmed the widely expected exclusion of Banstead, Caterham and Warlingham
Caterham and Warlingham
and Walton and Weybridge. Requests from the councils of Romford, Barnet, Carshalton, Coulsdon and Purley, Feltham, Yiewsley and West Drayton to be removed from the area were turned down. Additionally, the department decided that the "northern part of the borough of Epsom and Ewell definitely forms part of Greater London
Greater London
and must be included".[8] 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, and in greater detail, Shoreditch to join Hackney; Wanstead and Woodford to be added to Ilford
to form 'Redbridge' rather than join Waltham Forest; Chislehurst and Sidcup
Chislehurst and Sidcup
to be divided between the Bromley and the Bexley; East Barnet, Friern Barnet, Hendon, and Finchley
to form a single borough (Barnet), Enfield to join Edmonton and Southgate (to be simply Enfield), the Tottenham, Hornsey and Wood Green authorities to combine to form Haringey and at the most local level, Clapham and Streatham neighbourhoods to join Lambeth.[9] The slightly amended form was laid before Parliament for substantive debates from November 1962 until April 1963.[10] This proposed the eventually settled 32 more empowered boroughs forming a new administrative county. Support[edit] Ministerial proponents of the Bill advanced its smooth passage summarising the Royal Commission's Report:

One of those basic strands is that London Government must reflect the physical fact that Greater London
Greater London
is a single city with a recognisable existence of its own: it is a living organism with its heart, its limbs and its lungs. The Surrey
[-proposed] Plan does not recognise this important basic fact. Secondly, the Government regard it as vital that the functions that need to be exercised over the whole of Greater London should be in the hands of a body with real positive powers. In no other way can such a Government be effective.[11] — Earl Jellicoe, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, (Con)

...but [in] ordinary human speech, how is it that such people can be so appalled at acknowledging that they live in what is the greatest capital city in the world? ... It would be ludicrous for the Government to go to this extent to try to reorganise metropolitan government for the next half century and boggle at including in it the whole of the metropolitan continuous built-up area.[12] — Sir Keith Joseph, (Con), Minister of Housing and Local Government

I invite hon. Members on both sides to agree that, whatever may have been the merits of saying that the area of the L.C.C. was London in 1848, it is idle to say in 1962 that the frontiers are the same now. Plainly, in the more than 70 years since the L.C.C. came into existence, the whole pattern of London has been transformed.[13] — Charles Curran, (Con, Uxbridge, Middlesex
moved into London under this Bill)

Opposition[edit] The leaders and all members of the Opposition in both houses saw the Bill as being partisan, opposed London's re-casting and celebrated its predecessor:

...you mean to go through with this execution of the London County Council because they have been so successful and they have been so strongly supported for 28 years by the electorate.[11] — Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough, Leader of Opposition (Lords) (Lab-Coop)

...we believe that it is a party political Bill. We have been told that it is "politics in the raw". It certainly is. If London County Council can be destroyed for political reasons, so can the City of London Common Council.[13] — John Parker, Lab, Dagenham, Essex, moved into London under this Bill

Five Conservative MPs (for North-West Croydon, South Croydon, Carshalton, Wimbledon and East Surrey) sympathised with a petition from 20,000-30,000 people from Croydon
and two hillside semi-rural towns not to join London. Former Labour Home Secretary James Chuter Ede, a retired Surrey
magistrate and county councillor, co-led the opposition in Committee, having met residents who were all "resolutely and determinedly opposed to the Bill." He was instrumental in getting his own area, Epsom and Ewell, completely excluded. Charles Doughty, MP for East Surrey
(including Coulsdon
and Purley), prophesied that "A shotgun marriage of the kind proposed in the Bill between Coulsdon, Purley and [the Borough of] Croydon
can never be successful...The affinities of Coulsdon
and Purley go south, not to the north and east. This is a very bad part of the Bill."[13] The Bill passed, and the boundaries including this fusion, have lasted since 1 April 1965. Subsequent amendments[edit] Local Government Act 1972[edit] The Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
provided a mechanism for councils to change their names: the London Borough of Hammersmith
London Borough of Hammersmith
and the London Borough of Barking changed their names after their creation to contain a second locality, to form the London Borough of Hammersmith
London Borough of Hammersmith
and Fulham and the London Borough of Barking
London Borough of Barking
and Dagenham. Local Government Act 1985[edit] The Local Government Act 1985
Local Government Act 1985
abolished the Greater London
Greater London
Council and transferred its functions to the London borough councils, joint arrangements and to central government. The Inner London
Inner London
Education Authority continued to exist as a directly elected authority. Education Reform Act 1988[edit] The Education Reform Act 1988
Education Reform Act 1988
abolished the Inner London
Inner London
Education Authority and made the inner London boroughs
London boroughs
education authorities. Greater London
Greater London
Authority Act 1999[edit] The Greater London
Greater London
Authority Act 1999 created the Greater London Authority as a replacement for the Greater London
Greater London
Council. References[edit]

^ "Choosing Names For New Boroughs". The Times. 25 June 1963.  ^ "Where Judgement of Solomon Will Be Required: Minister to Have Final Word on Names of New London Boroughs". The Times. 8 August 1963.  ^ "Names for Nine New Boroughs of London". The Times. 14 September 1963.  ^ "Minister Names New Boroughs". The Times. 30 October 1963.  ^ "Chelsea Name Retained: New Decisions on Three Boroughs". The Times. 3 January 1964.  ^ Redcliffe-Maud & Wood, B., English Local Government Reformed, (1974) ^ "Government Plan for 34 London Boroughs". The Times. 19 December 1961.  ^ "Five More Towns Now Out Of London Plan". The Times. 19 May 1962.  ^ "Changes In Proposals For London Council Areas: Ministry Accepts Recommendations". The Times. 3 August 1962.  ^ "London Government Bill. Fewer, Bigger, Boroughs To Run Own Education, Central Control Over Water". The Times. 23 November 1962.  ^ a b "LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. March 14, 1962. col. 278–291.  ^ "LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. February 20, 1963. col. 278–518.  ^ a b c "LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. December 11, 1962. col. 278–291. 

External links[edit]

Text of London Government Act 1963 London Boroughs Map

v t e

Local government
Local government
districts abolished or transferred by the London Government Act 1963



Battersea Bermondsey Bethnal Green Camberwell Chelsea Deptford Finsbury Fulham Greenwich Hackney Hammersmith Hampstead Holborn Islington Kensington Lambeth Lewisham Paddington Poplar Shoreditch Southwark St. Marylebone St. Pancras Stepney Stoke Newington Wandsworth Westminster Woolwich

Constituent parts of Greater London


Barking Chigwell
(part) Chingford Dagenham East Ham Hornchurch Ilford Leyton Romford Walthamstow Wanstead and Woodford West Ham


Barnet East Barnet

Middlesex, CC

Acton Brentford and Chiswick Ealing Edmonton Enfield Feltham Finchley Friern Barnet Harrow Hayes and Harlington Hendon Heston and Isleworth Hornsey Ruislip-Northwood Southall Southgate Tottenham Twickenham Uxbridge Wembley Willesden Wood Green Yiewsley and West Drayton


Beckenham Bexley Bromley Chislehurst and Sidcup Crayford Erith Orpington Penge


Barnes Beddington and Wallington Carshalton Coulsdon
and Purley Croydon Kingston-upon-Thames Malden and Coombe Merton and Morden Mitcham Sutton and Cheam Surbiton Richmond Wimbledon


to Hertfordshire: Potters Bar

to Surrey: Staines Sunbury-on-Thames

v t e

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