|Founded||1 April 1965|
Mayor of Barnet
since 24 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Barry Rawlings, Labour
since 24 May 2022
Ross Houston, Labour
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Daniel Thomas, Conservative
since 1 February 2017
Length of term
|First past the post|
|5 May 2022|
|7 May 2026|
|Hendon Town Hall|
Barnet London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Barnet in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 within London. Barnet is divided into 21 wards, each electing three councillors.
The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced five local authorities: Barnet Urban District Council, East Barnet Urban District Council, Friern Barnet Urban District Council, Finchley Borough Council and Hendon Borough Council. The most recent elections to the authority were in May 2022.
There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Barnet area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Barnet on 1 April 1965. Barnet replaced Barnet Urban District Council, East Barnet Urban District Council, Friern Barnet Urban District Council, Finchley Borough Council and Hendon Borough Council.
It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963, Barnet as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. As an outer London borough council it has been an education authority since 1965. This arrangement lasted until 1986, when Barnet London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.
In 2012 Barnet outsourced many functions to Capita under the controversial 'One Barnet' programme. Maria Stella Nash, a local resident, challenged the lawfulness of the proposed outsourcing in 2013, on the grounds that the Council had not adequately consulted, had failed to show due regard to its Public Sector Equality Duty, and would be in breach of its fiduciary duty to local council taxpayers. Her application for judicial review was refused.: paragraph 89 Her application to appeal against that decision was also overruled.
The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates. It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.
Electrical items larger than 51 cm x 52 cm may be recycled at the Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre, Summers Lane, North Finchley, London N12 0RF, which collects over 40 different household materials for recycling. It recycles around 68% of the waste received.
The complex at Bristol Avenue in Colindale, completed in 2019, houses many council services, with many other offices elsewhere having moved to this site. The Barnet House on Whetstone High Road continues to provide some council services, as does North London Business Park in New Southgate. Council meetings are held at Hendon Town Hall.