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The London Borough of Newham ( ) is a London borough in East Londonmarker, within Greater Londonmarker.

It is situated east of the City of Londonmarker, and is north of the River Thames. According to 2006 estimates, Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the districts in the country, with no particular ethnic group dominating.


The borough was formed by merging the former area of the Essex county borough of East Hammarker and the county borough of West Ham as a borough of the newly formed Greater Londonmarker, on 1 April 1965. Green Street marks the former boundary between the two. North Woolwichmarker also became part of the borough (previously being in the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwichmarker, in the County of London) along with a small area west of the River Rodingmarker which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barkingmarker. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.


Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly-elected mayor, Since 2002, one of the councillors has been appointed as the "civic ambassador", and has performed the civic and ceremonial role previously carried out by the mayor but this post was recently discontinued.

Although statistically counted as part of Inner London, the borough is still considered part of Outer London for purposes such as funding. This is because the majority of Newham was not part of the 1889-1965 County of London. However, much of the borough has historically formed part of London's built-up area and economically it is one of the more deprived districts. The council is actively campaigning to have Newham officially considered part of Inner London for all purposes in order to increase its level of government grant by £60 million. Newham is a challenging borough in a number of ways and currently has the second lowest recycling rate in the United Kingdom.

Newham has 60 councillors, of whom 54 are from the Labour Party , 3 are from the Christian Peoples' Alliance and 3 are from Respect. As the 2010 Municipal Elections approach there have been some changes of party by existing councillors.


Newham has the highest young population and one of the lowest white British populations in the country according to the 2001 Census. The borough has the second highest percentage of Muslims in Britain (24.3%).

When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15. Simpson's diversity indices by ward 1991 and 2001 - GLA Data Management and Analysis Group (page 11, Table 3) (Jan 2006) date accessed 13 Dec 2006 However, when using the 16 ethnic categories in the Census so that White Irish and White Other ethnic minorities are also included in the analysis, Newham becomes the 2nd most ethnically diverse borough Focus on Newham 2006 - local people and local conditions - London Borough of Newham, Corporate Research Unit (chapter 2, page 24) (2006) date accessed 31 Mar 2007 with 6 out of the top 15 wards, behind Brentmarker with 7 out of the top 15 wards.

The main ethnic groups are Whites and Asians. Based on 2006 estimates by the ONS, over 39% of the population is White (32.6% White British, White Irish 1.1% and other 5%) 38% is Asian (12.2% Indian, 10% Bangladeshi, 8.9% Pakistani and other Asian 5.1%), 20% is Black (6.5% Caribbeanmarker, 12.4% African and 1.1% other Black), and 1.6% are Chinese and 2.6% are other ethnic groups.

Notable local residents

Trade Unionist Vic Turner who was jailed as the leader of the Pentonville 5. A former Communist Party member, after his retirement in 1994 Vic joined the Labour Party just in time to be elected as a Councillor for the former Bemersyde Ward in the Municipal elections of that year. Later in his term as a Councillor Vic was elected by Labour Group (and therefore the Council) as a Ceremonial Mayor of Newham. This largely ceremonial post (now known as the "Civic Ambassador") is of course not to be confused with the far more significant one of Elected Mayor, whereby the incumbent (who has serious and useful political power) is elected by far wider electorate of the whole Borough.

Singer and actor, David Essex

Scriptwriter (notably of 'Til death us do part", Johnny Speight


Schools and colleges

The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools.


The University of East Londonmarker has two campuses within Newham, these are:

Birkbeck Stratford is a collaborative project between Birkbeck, University of Londonmarker and UEL to increase participation in adult learning. This is currently based on the UEL Stratford campus, but is planned to move to its own facilities.

Places of interest


  • The Hub, a revolutionary community resource centre built by the local community, in Star Lane, E16, featuring up to the minute "green" features
  • Grassroots, also built by the local community and another revolutionary green resource centre built by the community. Grass Roots is in Memorial Recreation Ground, E15.


Newham has 10 libraries (Beckton, Canning Town, Custom House, East Ham, Green Street, Manor Park, North Woolwich, Plaistow, Stratford and Forest Gate) and 1 mobile library.

Canning Townmarker Library was first opened in 1893 and still operates in the original building on Barking Road (albeit with repairs and a reconstructed interior following damage sustained in air raids in 1940 and 1941.)Its opening hours are Monday,Tuesday & Saturday: 9:30am–5:30pm, Wednesday & Sunday: Closed, Thursday-Friday: 7:00am–6:00pm.



There are a number of local markets in the Borough. The Council wants to improve and develop Queens Market (in Upton Park). The new development will include housing provision, shops, an upgraded and sanitary market,and new Council Local Service Centre and Library. These proposals are being fought by Friends of Queens Market.

Parks and open spaces


Shopping and exhibitions


  • Newham is host borough for the 2012 Summer Olympics. As a result it has been undergoing major upheavals, especially in the north of the borough, which are anticipated to end in around 2016. The borough hopes to gain many advantages for its residents during that period. At the same time. the new Westmount Shopping Centre, next to the Olympic Village, will have an even greater effect on the borough when it is completed well before the Olympics.
  • West Ham United Football Club is at Upton Parkmarker


The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder and is edited by Colin Grainger.


Logo on the roadside at sunset


Transport in Newham is undergoing a major upgrade, with the completed Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Line Extensionmarker, with new or improved stations at Canning Townmarker, West Hammarker and Stratfordmarker. Stratford International stationmarker on High Speed 1 is due to open in 2009. The Crossrail scheme will also improve rail connections to several stations in the borough. The Docklands Light Railway was extended to serve London City Airportmarker.

List of stations

International services

See also

References and notes

  1. Mills, A., Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names, (2001).
  2. The Civic Ambassador at Newham accessed 13 Dec 2006
  3. Other Stories we Liked, The Times. 22 November 2005.
  4. Education and Learning (London Borough of Newham) accessed 24 March 2008
  5. Cherry, Bridget et al. London 5: East: the Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005

External links

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