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The London Borough of Lambeth ( ) is a London borough in South Londonmarker, Englandmarker and forms part of Inner London.


The London Borough of Lambeth was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Lambethmarker and part of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworthmarker containing most of the historic parishes of Streathammarker and Claphammarker.


Lambeth is a long, thin borough (approximately wide and long). Brixton is the civic centre of the borough and there are other town centres. The largest shopping areas are (in order of size) Streathammarker, Brixtonmarker, Vauxhallmarker, Claphammarker and West Norwoodmarker.

According to the 2001 census, Lambeth has a population of 266,169. 62% of the borough is White, 12% Black Caribbean and 12% Black African. 37% of householders are owner–occupiers. Lambeth has the highest population density of the Inner London boroughs. It also has a high unemployment rate and crime levels are also high. It has the highest number of homicides in any of the London boroughs.

In the northern end of the borough are the Central London districts of the South Bankmarker and Lambethmarker which have a developing tourist economy while at the very south of the borough are the leafy suburbs of Gipsy Hillmarker, Tulse Hillmarker, West Dulwichmarker and West Norwoodmarker. In between the two are built-up and inner-city districts of Brixtonmarker, Brixton Hillmarker, Streatham Hillmarker, Claphammarker, Clapham Parkmarker, Herne Hillmarker, Stockwellmarker and Kenningtonmarker which are each at different stages of gentrification and have elements of suburban and urban settlement while Vauxhallmarker and South Lambethmarker are central districts being redeveloped with high density business and residential properties. Streatham sits somewhere between suburban London and inner-city Brixton with the partly suburban and partly built-up areas of Streathammarker, Streatham Hillmarker and Streatham Vale.

Parks and green spaces

Despite the Borough's high population density, it contains some open spaces of Metropolitan importance including Brockwell Parkmarker and Brockwell Lidomarker, Streatham Commonmarker, half of Clapham Commonmarker, and West Norwood Cemeterymarker.


Along and around the South Bankmarker a tourist area has developed around the former GLC headquarters of County Hallmarker and the Royal Festival Hallmarker and National Theatremarker. Also on the river is the London Eyemarker and Hayward Gallerymarker, to the east of which is the Oxo Towermarker wharf and adjacent areas redeveloped by the Coin Street Community Builders. Nearby and also in the north of the borough is St Thomas' Hospitalmarker, Lambeth Palacemarker and the Florence Nightingale Museummarker.

A prominent landmark in the middle of the borough is the Art Deco Sunlight Laundry on Acre Lane SW2. Near this is Brixtonmarker, home to Lambeth Town Hall and to the Brixton Muralsmarker, although one of these is actually in Stockwellmarker (see picture below).

The London Eye

Prominent Church buildings include:
  • St Mary Lambeth (now home to the Museum of Garden Historymarker)
  • the four "Waterloo Churches" within the former Lambeth Parish:
    • St Matthew, Brixton (now also home to Mass nightclub)
    • St Mark, Kennington
    • St Luke, West Norwood
    • St John, Waterloo
  • Holy Trinity, Clapham
  • St Leonard, Streatham
  • Christ Church, Streatham Hill
  • All Saints' Church, West Dulwichmarker
  • Holy Trinity, Trinity Rise, Tulse Hill
  • St John the Divine, Vassall Road

The Oval cricket groundmarker and its neighbouring gas holders are known throughout the world due to television coverage of Test matches.


Civic affairs


The Mayor of Lambeth for the municipal year 2009-2010 is Cllr Christopher Wellbelove (Clapham Town ward). Lambeth is perhaps unusual in that since 1994 the Mayor is elected unanimously by their fellow councillors with each of the three political parties supplying a candidate in rotation. The Lambeth Borough Website states this underlines the apolitical nature of the Mayor’s role and enables them to represent all the citizens of the borough however some have criticised this arrangement as the council ignoring the political mandate of the voters.

Executive and Opposition

The council is run by a Leader and Cabinet, chaired by council leader Cllr Steve Reed. All members of the Cabinet are from the ruling Labour Party. The Leader of the Opposition is Cllr Ashley Lumsden (Liberal Democrat) and the Leader of the Conservative Opposition is Cllr John Whelan. The Chief Executive is Derrick Anderson CBE, formerly Chief Executive at Wolverhampton Council.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms is that of the former Metropolitan Borough of Lambethmarker with the addition of two gold stars (mullets) in the second and third quarters of the crest to indicate the addition of the parishes of Clapham and Streatham. The motto is Spectemur Agendo.


The former Metropolitan Borough of Lambethmarker and its successor have been twinned with the Vincennes district of Parismarker in Francemarker since 1955. Lambeth also has twinning arrangements with Bluefieldsmarker in Nicaraguamarker; Moskvoretsky in Russiamarker (although this is abeyance since changes to the city government of Moscow); Shinjuku in Japanmarker; and Spanish Townmarker in Jamaicamarker.


Lambeth London Borough Council

Since 2002, the Council has had 63 members elected in 21 three-member wards. Between 1978 and 2002, the council comprised 64 members elected in 20 three-member and 2 two-member wards. Prior to this, the council had 60 members elected in 20 three-member wards.

Following a by-election in Vassall Ward on 20 March 2008 won by the Liberal Democrats and the announcement on 9 October 2009 that Cllr Betty Evans-Jacas was taking the Conservative whip, the council currently comprises 37 Labour members, 18 Liberal Democrats, 7 Conservatives and 1 Green, giving the Labour party an overall majority of eleven.

Summary of council election results:

Overall control Labour Lib Dem Conservative Others
2006 Labour 39 17 6 1
2002 Lib Dem/Conservative Coalition 28 28 7 -
1998 Labour 41 18 5 -
1994 No overall control 24 24 16 -
1990 Labour 40 4 20 -
1986 Labour 40 3 21 -
1982 No overall control 32 5 27 -
1978 Labour 42 - 22 -
1974 Labour 46 - 14 -
1971 Labour 51 - 9 -
1968 Conservative 3 - 57 -
1964 Labour 42 - 18 -

Westminster Parliament

The borough is covered by three parliamentary constituencies:


Bridges and tunnels

Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, seen from the north
Stockwell war memorial and shelter

Railway stations

Lambeth areas

Tube stations

Individuals associated with Lambeth


  1. Labour Councillor takes Conservative Whip in Lambeth

External links

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