Celebrating 50 Years Of The London Boroughs
1st April 2015 marked 50 years since London became Greater by the creation of 20 outer boroughs and 12 inner boroughs in addition to the City of London, thanks to the London Government Act 1963.
London Councils have produced a short film, which is just the start of a year of celebrations looking at how the boroughs have shaped London life. The video depicts different council responsibilities from libraries to environmental health, housing improvements to nurseries, through clips dating from 1967 to 1994.
The footage may look vintage but many issues are still alarmingly relevant. In the opening 1966 film, we hear that “housing is perhaps London’s most urgent problem” and Southwark’s 1988 film about the budget tells a sadly familiar tale, “local government means caring about people … but we face severe financial difficulties”.
So, how are the boroughs of Greater London marking this milestone?
Barking and Dagenham are cheerleaders for the anniversary having created their own short film and a dedicated page on their website, alongside 50 community events and a photographic exhibition.
Croydon, Havering, Kingston upon Thames, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth have joined together with music promoter, Serious, to create an ambitious touring arts programme to bring live music to high streets in 2015 and 2016. The Streets will tour to each of the boroughs twice a year.
Enfield is planning a festival and has unveiled a commemorative plaque. Sutton’s been explaining its coat of arms and names it could have been known as. Camden has launched a rather nice Camden50 website where you can follow specially commissioned art projects, read blogs by local institutions and find out about anniversary events.