Wandsworth London Borough Council
Coat of Arms
Mayor of Wandsworth
Cllr Jane Cooper, Conservative
since May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Ravi Govindia, Conservative
since May 2010
Cllr Kim Caddy, Conservative
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Leonie Cooper, Labour
since October 2010
|First past the post|
|3 May 2018|
|Wandsworth Town Hall|
Wandsworth London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Wandsworth in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. Wandsworth is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors. After the May 2018 election, 33 of these councillors were Conservatives and 26 were Labour, with 1 independent. The Conservatives have had an overall majority on the council since 1978.
There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Wandsworth area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Wandsworth on 1 April 1965. Wandsworth replaced the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, but excluding the former parish of Clapham and most of the former parish of Streatham which were transferred to the London Borough of Lambeth.
It was envisaged, in accordance with the London Government Act 1963, that Wandsworth as a London local authority would share power with 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 local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Wandsworth London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Wandsworth became an education authority in 1990. 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.
From 1992 to 2011, Wandsworth was an early adopter of 'Thatcherite' policies of privatisation of street cleaning and refuse collection, and sale of council housing, under the leadership of Edward Lister. Between 2007 and 2010 only 11% of the "affordable" homes built in Wandsworth were for social rent - the lowest in the whole of London. Many ex-council homes became owned by concentrated and absent private landlords. However Wandsworth became the most successful value for money local authority in the country, with the country's lowest council tax charge and top satisfaction ratings from its residents. As of 2019 Wandsworth council tax remained the lowest in the UK, which the council ascribed to continued cost focus.
Powers and functions
The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation. Wandsworth has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, and it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. It is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal. The council shares responsibility with the Greater London Authority for strategic policies including housing, planning and the environment.
Wandsworth London Borough Council is the billing authority for Council Tax, and collects precepts on behalf of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.
Summary results of elections
The Labour Party won the first election in 1964, and also in 1971 and 1974. The Conservative Party has been in power since 1978.
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