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London Borough of Barnet
Shown within Greater London
Status London borough
— Total
Ranked 230th
86.74 km2 (33.5 sq mi)
ONS code 00AC
Admin HQ North London Business Park
— Total (2008 est.)
Ranked 15th (of 326)
3,822 /km2 (9,899 /sq mi)
White British
White Irish
Other White
White & Black Caribbean
White & Black African
White & Asian
Other Mixed
Other Asian
Black Caribbean
Black African
Other Black
(2005 estimates)[1]
Barnet London Borough Council
Logo of Barnet London Borough Council
Leadership Mike Freer
Mayor Brian Coleman
Executive Conservative
MPs Andrew Dismore
Theresa Villiers
Rudi Vis
London Assembly
— Member
Barnet and Camden
Brian Coleman
Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of Barnet London Borough Council
Official website

The London Borough of Barnet (About this sound pronunciation ) is a London borough in North London and forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 331,500 and covers 86.74 square kilometres (33 sq mi). It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the east. The borough was formed in 1965 from parts of the counties of Middlesex and Hertfordshire.[2]



The borough was formed under the London Government Act 1963 in 1965 from the Municipal Borough of Finchley, Municipal Borough of Hendon and the Friern Barnet Urban District of Middlesex and the East Barnet Urban District and Barnet Urban District of Hertfordshire. The Act did not include a name for the new borough. A joint committee of the councils due to be amalgamated suggested "Northgate" or "Northern Heights".[3] Keith Joseph, the Minister of Housing and Local Government, eventually choose Barnet.[4] The place name Barnet is derived from the Old English bærnet meaning "Land cleared by burning".[5]

The area covered by the modern borough has a long history. Evidence of 1st century Roman pottery manufacturing has been found at Brockley Hill[6] and Roman coins from the 3rd and 4th centuries were found at Burnt Oak. Both sites are on the Roman road Watling Street from London (Londinium) and St Albans(Verulamium) which now forms the western border of the borough.[7].

Hendon is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086[8], but the districts of Barnet, Edgware and Finchley were not referred to possibly because these areas were included in other manors.[9][10][11]

In 1471 the Battle of Barnet was fought north of Chipping Barnet just within the present borough's boundary. It was here that Yorkist troops led by King Edward IV killed the rebellious "Kingmaker" Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Warwick's brother, John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu.

Individual articles describe the history and development of the districts of Church End, East Finchley, Edgware, Golders Green and North Finchley.



Parliamentary constituencies

The residents of London Borough of Barnet are represented in Westminster by Members of Parliament (MPs) for three separate Parliamentary Constituencies. Chipping Barnet is represented by Theresa Villiers (Conservative Party). Finchley and Golders Green is represented by Rudi Vis (Labour). Hendon, is represented by Andrew Dismore (Labour).


The borough is divided into 21 wards, each with 3 councillors. Following the Barnet local government election on 4 May 2006 the Conservative party gained a working majority and full control of the council. Mike Freer became leader of the council on 11 May 2006, replacing Brian Salinger as Conservative group leader, having previously been Salinger's deputy.[12] Barnet had £27.4 million invested in Icelandic banks Glitnir and Landsbanki when they collapsed October 2008.[13] A report showed that Barnet Council failed to follow correct procedures when depositing the money.[14]

The current political composition of the Council is:

Barnet Council along with the 31 other London boroughs and the City of London Corporation share local government powers with Greater London Authority. The area covered by London Borough of Barnet and the London Borough of Camden is jointly represented in the London Assembly by Brian Coleman, a Conservative from Barnet.

Service delivery

In 2009, the authority started to introduce a new model of local government delivery in the borough, called 'Future Shape',[15][16] after commissioning a six-month external study.[17] The first stages of 'Future Shape' were agreed by the council's cabinet in July 2009[18][19][20] The mainly public-sector union UNISON commissioned its own report on the issues involved in 'Future Shape'.[21] The scheme has been dubbed easyCouncil because of its similarity to EasyJet's business model.[22]


London Borough of Barnet
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: Records and averages, Yahoo! Weather, 2010,;_ylt=Aqy1U.zg0fRkY.sQHDShvldH8ecA?woeid=12695821 

The borough covers a group of hills on the northern edge of the London Basin. The bedrock is chalk which is covered with clay. Some of the hills are formed from glacial till deposited at the farthest extent of glaciers during the Anglian glaciation.

The pattern of settlement is somewhat diverse.

In the north of the borough on the eastern side is Barnet, also known as High Barnet or Chipping Barnet, Totteridge, and Whetstone. In the north on the western side is Edgware and Mill Hill. The central northern part of the borough is largely countryside. This division is largely because the eastern side grew around what is now the High Barnet Underground branch of the Northern Line. The western side grew around the Midland Railway and what is now the Edgware branch of the Northern Line.

Further south, the development becomes steadily more intensive around the suburbs of Cricklewood, Colindale, Hendon and Finchley. Golders Green is renowned for its Jewish minority ethnic population and forms part of the south of the borough, along with Hampstead Garden Suburb and Childs Hill.

Community facilities

There are 15 council run libraries in the London Borough of Barnet, mobile library and home library services, and a local studies and archives library[23].

Much of the borough is Green Belt, and it has a large number of parks and open spaces. In addition there are large areas taken over by cemeteries and golf courses, and part of Hampstead Heath. Barnet describes its 16 main open spaces as 'premier parks', nine of which achieved a Green Flag Award for 2008/9:[24] The borough has seven Local Nature Reserves (LNR), and is jointly responsible with the London Borough of Brent for the Welsh Harp (Brent) Reservoir which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[25]


Barnet has two Grade I Listed buildings,[26] both designed by Edwin Lutyens: the Church of St Jude, the parish church of Hampstead Garden Suburb with a Gothic spire and on opposite side of Central Square, the Free Church, of similar design but with a concrete dome.[2] Royal Air Force Museum is a museum built on part of the site of Hendon Aerodrome, dedicated to the history of aviation, and the British Royal Air Force in particular. Church Farmhouse museum on Greyhound hill is a grade II* listed seventeenth century farmhouse used by Barnet Council as an exhibition space.[27] Friern Hospital was an large Victorian psychiatric hospital located in Friern Barnet, which has been converted into flats.


The borough is home to a professional football club, Barnet F.C. and Barnet Copthall leisure complex.


Year Pop.  %±
1801 6,404
1811 7,502 17.1%
1821 9,578 27.7%
1831 11,343 18.4%
1841 12,436 9.6%
1851 13,232 6.4%
1861 22,675 71.4%
1871 32,119 41.6%
1881 41,563 29.4%
1891 58,432 40.6%
1901 84,784 45.1%
1911 123,023 45.1%
1921 169,204 37.5%
1931 232,722 37.5%
1941 272,356 17.0%
1951 318,770 17.0%
1961 311,951 −2.1%
1971 305,338 −2.1%
1981 290,204 −5.0%
1991 299,934 3.4%
2001 314,561 4.9%
Source: A Vision of Britain through time

In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 6,404; and the area was characterised by farming and woodland — with settlement principally around the Great North Road. By 1830, a new turnpike, the Finchley Road was constructed and horse-drawn omnibuses introduced. The population rose dramatically with the arrival of the trams and railways in the middle of 19th century, and new estates were built to house commuters. As industry relocated away from London during the 1960s, the population entered a decline, that has begun to reverse with new housing developments on brownfield sites.

According to the 2001 census the borough has a population of 314,564[28] though the most recent ONS projection for 2008 is 331,500.[29] 67% of householders are owner-occupiers. The borough has the highest percentage (14.8%) of Jewish residents of any local government area in the United Kingdom. Many more people in Barnet have some Jewish ancestry, but don't consider themselves Jewish.[citation needed] Barnet has the largest Chinese population of any London borough population wise, and ranks 5th by percentage of Chinese people.[citation needed]


The London Borough of Barnet has 86 primary schools, 22 secondary schools and four special schools. Woodhouse College is a single site state sixth form college in North Finchley. The main college in the borough is Barnet College, with five sites.[30] Middlesex University has its main campus at Hendon. University College London has its teaching observatory at Mill Hill.


Chipping Barnet has been a market town since the thirteenth century, the rest of the area was agricultural. In 1588 Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the Lord of the Manor of Barnet to hold a twice yearly horse fair. The first example of an American style out-of-town shopping centre was built at Brent Cross in the 1970s. McDonald's has its UK headquarters at East Finchley.[2]


Transport Policy

Former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said "Barnet's transport agenda is recklessly anti-public transport, anti-pedestrian and anti-cycling. Barnet has become a laboratory experiment for some very ill-thought out policies".[31] In 2004 cycle lanes were removed and cycling proficiency funding cut by the pro motorist Cllr Brian Coleman.[32]


The A5 is a major road in that forms much of the borough's western border. It is also the first Roman built road in England . It later took the Anglo-Saxon name Watling Street. The Great North Road passes through the borough starting at East Finchley and crossing into Hertfordshire at Monken Hadley. It was a coaching route used by mail coaches between London, York and Edinburgh. The many inns on the road provided accommodation, stabling for the horses and replacement mounts.[33]. A section of the A1 road was built to bypass this route through Mill Hill, eventually joining the Great North Road at Hatfield. The Finchley Road was built as a turnpike in the 1830s linking the West End to Finchley. The A41 splits of from the Finchley Road just before it crosses the borough boundary, briefly merges with the A1 through Mill Hill, leaving the borough at Edgware. The North Circular Road (or A406) is part of an orbit route for London, it crosses the borough East-West linking all the other major routes. Junctions one, two and four of the M1 motorway are in the borough. London Gateway services is at the site of the abandoned third junction. The bus routesin the borough are managed by Transport for London.

London Underground services in Barnet


The borough is served by the northern-most sections of the London Underground's Northern Line, including all three of the line's northern termini (Edgware, High Barnet, and Mill Hill East). The surface sections of the High Barnet and Edgware branches are entirely in the borough. The High Barnet branch surfaces just before East Finchley station. At Finchley Central station there is a single station spur to Mill Hill East station. The rest of the line continues through West Finchley, Woodside Park and Totteridge and Whetstone stations to the terminus at High Barnet station. The Edgware branch emerges at Golders Green station, the line continues on a series of viaducts through Brent Cross station to Hendon Central station. Here it goes through a tunnel before continuing above ground through Colindale and Burnt Oak stations to the terminus at Edgware Station.

Northern Heights plans

National Rail services in Barnet are operated by First Capital Connect on two routes. The Midland Main Line passes through the western edge of the bourough. First Capital Connect operates the Thameslink Route on this line. The Thameslink route runs north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton. The three stations within the borough boundaries on this route north to south are: Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon and Cricklewood. The East Coast Main Line crosses the north-eastern corner of the bourough. First Capital Connect operates the Great Northern Route on this line. The three stations in the borough are New Barnet, Oakleigh Park and New Southgate (which straddles the border with the London Borough of Enfield).

There was a railway joining the two sides of the borough, part of the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway which was going to be part of the Northern Line "Northern Heights" expansion, but steam passenger services beyond Mill Hill East ended in 1939, and the completion of the electrification of this railway was abandoned in the 1950s. The track was removed in the 1960s, and part of the route was used for the M1 motorway in the 1970s.

Public services

The primary care trust for the borough is NHS Barnet. The trust runs: Barnet Hospital, Edgware Community Hospital and Finchley Memorial Hospital. The London Ambulance Service responds to medical emergencies in the area. Home Office policing in the borough is provided by the Metropolitan Police Service. There are four police stations in the borough at: Colindale, Barnet, Golders Green and Whetstone. The Peel Centre at Hendon is the Metropolitan Police College.

Statutory emergency fire service is provided by the London Fire Brigade. There are four fire stations that operate in the Borough of Barnet. These are mobilised to protect around 330,000 people. The main risks identified in the borough include Barnet FC's stadium, Underhill Stadium, Brent Cross shopping centre, Coppetts Wood Hospitals and Barnet General Hospital. There are also several busy roads that run through the borough such as the A1 and A406.Between the four stations; five pumping appliances, two equipment lorries, a bulk foam unit, a breathing apparatus support unit, a damage control support unit and a hazardous materials support unit are operated.[34]



  1. ^ Data Management and Analysis Group, Greater London Authority, Demography Update October 2007, (2007)
  2. ^ a b c Pevsner, Nikolaus; Bridget Cherry (1999). London 4: North. Penguin Books. pp. 105-192. ISBN 0140710493. 
  3. ^ "Where Judgment Of Solomon Will Be Needed Minister To Have Final Word On Names Of New London Boroughs". London: The Times. 08 Aug 1963. pp. 5. 
  4. ^ "Chelsea Name Retained New Decisions On Three Boroughs". London: The Times. 03 Jan 1964. pp. 5. 
  5. ^ A. D. Mills, ed (2003). "Barnet, Chipping". A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198527586. 
  6. ^ "Brockley Hill". Barnet Council. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Burnt Oak". Barnet Council. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Baker, T F T (1976). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5". Victoria County History. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Page, William (1908). "A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2". Victoria County History. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Baker, T F T (1971). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4". Victoria County History. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  11. ^ Baker, T F T (1980). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6". Victoria County History. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Marzouk, Lawrence (18 May 2006). "'Right-wing coup'". Times Series Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  13. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (16 October 2008). "BARNET: Held to account over bank crash". Times Series. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  14. ^ Lowe, Rebecca (10 March 2009). "Barnet Council officer resigns over Icelandic bank deposits". Times Series. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  15. ^ London Borough of Barnet Future Shape programme
  16. ^ Barnet TUC Response to 'Future Shape' plan
  17. ^ Barnet Local Government Chronicle Walkley appointed Barnet chief (February, 2009)
  18. ^ London Borough of Barnet 'Future Shape' plan agreed, July 2009
  19. ^ London Borough of Barnet 'Future Shape' press release, July 2009
  20. ^ Local Government Chronicle 'Barnet's proposals begin to emerge' article
  21. ^ European Services Strategy Unit 'Future Shape' report, September 2008
  22. ^ Mulholland, Hélène (3 February 2010). "Mr easyCouncil defends his local government model". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  23. ^ Local libraries in Barnet accessed 26 Jul 2007
  24. ^ "Premier parks". Barnet Council. 19/08/2008. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  25. ^ "Nature reserves". Barnet Council. 09/06/2009. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  26. ^ "Statutory Listed Buildings of Barnet". Barnet Council. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  27. ^ "Main Menu". Church Farmhouse Museum. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "Information on Barnet (Local Authority)" (in 2008). Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  29. ^ "Barnet population estimate: 2008". Barnet Council. 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  30. ^ "Schools and Colleges". Barnet Council. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  31. ^ Humps Faceoff (from Times Series)
  32. ^ Webster, Ben (March 22, 2004). "Motorists' champion rips out humps and bus lanes". Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  33. ^ Norman W. Webster (1974) The Great North Road
  34. ^ London Fire Brigade - Barnet Profile

External links

Coordinates: 51°37′31″N 0°09′10″W / 51.6254°N 0.1527°W / 51.6254; -0.1527

Simple English

London Borough of Barnet
Shown within Greater London
Official website
Status London borough
— Total
Ranked 255th
86.74 km²
ONS code 00AC
Admin HQ North London Business Park
— Total (2005 est.)
Ranked 10th (of 354)
3,801 / km²
Ethnicity 74.0% White
12.3% South Asian
6.0% Black British
2.0% Chinese

Including 14.8% Jewish

Leadership Leader & Cabinet
Mayor Eva Greenspan
Executive Conservative
MPs Andrew Dismore
Theresa Villiers
Rudi Vis
London Assembly
— Member
Barnet and Camden
Brian Coleman

The London Borough of Barnet is a London borough in north London.

Greater LondonLondonCity of London


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