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The London Borough of Lambeth is a London borough in South London, England and forms part of Inner London.


The London Borough of Lambeth was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and part of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth containing most of the historic parishes of Streatham and Clapham.


Lambeth is a long, thin borough (approximately 3mi wide and 7mi long). It has no one single "town centre" as such. Great variety exists in the districts. The largest shopping areas are (in order of size) Streatham, Brixton, Vauxhall and Clapham.

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 Bank and Lambeth which have a developing tourist economy while at the very south of the borough are the leafy suburbs of Gipsy Hill, Tulse Hill, West Dulwich and West Norwood. In between the two are built-up and inner-city districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Clapham, Clapham Park, Herne Hill, Stockwell and Kennington which are each at different stages of gentrification and have elements of suburban and urban settlement while Vauxhall and South Lambeth 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 Streatham, Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale.

Parks and green spaces[]

Despite the Borough's high population density, it contains some open spaces of Metropolitan importance including Brockwell Park and Brockwell Lido, Streatham Common, half of Clapham Common, and the historic West Norwood Cemetery.


Along and around the South Bank a tourist area has developed around the former GLC headquarters of County Hall and the Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre. Also on the river is the London Eye and Hayward Gallery, to the east of which is the Oxo Tower wharf and adjacent areas redeveloped by the Coin Street Community Builders. Nearby and still in the north of the borough is St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

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

Prominent Church buildings include:

  • St Mary Lambeth (now home to the Museum of Garden History)
  • 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 Dulwich
  • Holy Trinity, Trinity Rise, Tulse Hill
  • St John the Divine, Vassall Road

The Oval cricket ground 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 2008-2009 is Cllr Angie Meader (Clapham Common 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. This underlines the apolitical nature of the Mayor’s role and enables them to represent all the citizens of the borough.

See also List of Mayors of Lambeth

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 Lambeth 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.


Westminster Parliament[]

The borough is covered by three parliamentary constituencies:


Bridges and tunnels[]

Railway stations[]

Lambeth areas[]

Tube stations[]

Individuals associated with Lambeth[]

  • Diane Abbott (politician, television personality)
  • Jeffrey Archer (politician, author)
  • Linda Bellos (politician)
  • William Blake
  • Paul Boateng (politician and former civil rights lawyer)
  • David Bowie (musician and actor)
  • Charlie Chaplin (actor and director)
  • Naomi Campbell (former supermodel)
  • Dillinja (drum and bass DJ)
  • Jo Guest (page 3 model, television presenter)
  • Jeremy Hardy (alternative comedian)
  • Keith Hill (politician)
  • Kate Hoey (politician)
  • Eddie Izzard (alternative comedian)
  • Basement Jaxx (dance music act)
  • Tessa Jowell (politician)
  • Ken Livingstone (politician)
  • John Major (former Prime Minister)
  • Paul Merton (alternative comedian)
  • Roger Moore (actor)
  • John R. Pinniger (former councillor)
  • John Scarlett (head of MI6)
  • Henry Tate (sugar refiner and benefactor)

Christmas controversy[]

In November 2005, Lambeth London Borough Council became the centre of a controversy over the naming of the Christmas lights used in the annual festival "winter lights", and "Celebrity lights". This was interpreted by many as an overzealous attempt at political correctness, and was reported in several national newspapers, including the Daily Mail as an attempt to "ban Christmas". A spokesperson for the council, however, announced that "It was a junior-level decision and it happened to go into print which was an error."

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