Bexley London Borough Council

Bexley London Borough Council

Local authority in England

Bexley London Borough Council, also known as Bexley Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Bexley in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in London. The council has been under Conservative majority control since 2006. It is based at Bexley Civic Offices in the Bexleyheath area of the borough.

Quick Facts Type, History ...


There has been a Bexley local authority since 1880 when the parish of Bexley, which included both the village of Bexley and Bexley Heath, was made a local government district, governed by an elected local board.[3] Such districts were converted into urban districts under the Local Government Act 1894, which saw the board replaced by an urban district council.[4][5] Bexley Urban District was incorporated to become a municipal borough in 1935, governed by a body formally called the "Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Bexley", but generally known as the corporation, borough council or town council.[6]

The much larger London Borough of Bexley and its council were created under the London Government Act 1963, with the first election held in 1964.[7] For its first year the council acted as a shadow authority alongside the area's four outgoing authorities, being the borough councils of Bexley and Erith, and the urban district councils of Crayford and Chislehurst and Sidcup (the latter in respect of the Sidcup area only; the Chislehurst area went to the London Borough of Bromley).[8] The new council formally came into its powers on 1 April 1965, at which point the old districts and their councils were abolished.[9]

The council's full legal name is "The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Bexley".[10] Prior to 2007 the council branded itself "Bexley Council", which name is still commonly used for it.[11][12]

From 1965 until 1986 the council was a lower-tier authority, with upper-tier functions provided by the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the boroughs (including Bexley) responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. As an outer London borough council Bexley has been a local education authority since 1965. The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986 and its functions passed to the London Boroughs, with some services provided through joint committees.[13]

Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[14]

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[15] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[16]

Political control

The council has been under Conservative majority control since 2006.

The first election to the council was held in 1964, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1965. Political control of the council since 1965 has been as follows:[17]

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Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council. The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Bexley. The leaders since 1965 have been:[18][19]

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Since the last boundary changes in 2018 the council has comprised 45 councillors representing 17 wards, with each ward electing two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[22]

Following the 2022 election and a subsequent change of allegiance in April 2023, the composition of the council was:[23][24]

More information Party, Councillors ...

The next election is due in 2026.


The council is based at the Civic Offices on Watling Street in Bexleyheath.[25] The building was completed in 1989 as the headquarters of Woolwich Building Society. The council moved into the building in 2014.[26]

When the modern council was created in 1965, its functions had been divided between the buildings inherited from its predecessors at Erith Town Hall, Crayford Town Hall, Sidcup Place, and Oak House on Broadway in Bexleyheath.[27] Oak House was subsequently demolished and a new building called Civic Offices was built on the site, opening in 1980. The Broadway building remained the council's headquarters until 2014, and has since been redeveloped.[28]


  1. "Council minutes, 24 May 2023". Bexley Council. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  2. "Senior Council Officers". Bexley Council. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  3. Annual Report of the Local Government Board. 1881. p. 494. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  4. Kelly's Directory of Kent. 1913. pp. 72, 75. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  5. "Bexley Urban District / Municipal Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  6. Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0901050679.
  7. Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0901050679.
  8. "Inter Authority Agreement for the Local London Partnership Programme" (PDF). Havering Council. 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  9. "Bexley Council". Archived from the original on 4 January 2007.
  10. "London Borough of Bexley". Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
  11. "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  12. "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  13. "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  14. "Council minutes". Bexley Council. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  15. "London Boroughs Political Almanac". London Councils. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  16. "Len Newton RIP: The man who changed the face of Bexley Council". Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  17. Piper, Linda (6 May 2008). "Council leader takes deputy mayor role". News Shopper. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  18. Boothroyd, David (28 April 2023). "The meanest cat from old Swansea town". Local Councils. Thorncliffe. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  19. "Contact us". Bexley Council. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  20. Wood, Heloise (12 May 2014). "Bexley Council moves offices to old Woolwich building in Watling Street". News Shopper. Retrieved 2 May 2004.
  21. Municipal Year Book. London: Municipal Journal. 1976. pp. 576–578.
  22. "Bexleyheath Civic Offices Planning Brief" (PDF). Bexley Council. Retrieved 2 May 2024.

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