Barnet Council
Council logo
Founded1 April 1965
Nagus Narenthira,
since 23 May 2023[1]
Barry Rawlings,
since 24 May 2022[2]
John Hooton
since 31 January 2017[3]
Seats63 councillors[4]
Political groups
Administration (40)
  Labour (40)
Other parties (23)
  Conservative (22)
  Independent (1)
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BQ

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.[5]

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.


A map showing the wards of Barnet since 2002

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.[6]

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.[7]

In 2012 Barnet outsourced many functions to Capita under the controversial 'One Barnet' programme.[8] Maria Stella Nash, a local resident,[9] 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.[9]: paragraph 89  Her application to appeal against that decision was also overruled.[10]

Lord Justice Underhill noted in his ruling that the terms "One Barnet", "One Barnet Framework", "One Barnet Programme" and "One Barnet Programme Framework" were all in use within Council documentation and it was "not clear whether they are wholly interchangeable".[9]: paragraph 10 

The element of Nash's case which argued that the Council was in breach of its fidicuary duty to its citizens was dealt with only briefly in the judgment because it was considered to be out of time and should have been raised at an earlier stage; however, the judge also took the view that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that been reckless in disregarding the principles of financial planning and management in the development of the programme.[9]: paragraph 88 

Barnet's outsourcing contracts with Capita were extended in 2022 and will now continue as follows:

The Council will resume operation of some services not covered by these extensions from September 2023.[11]

Powers and functions

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.[12] 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.[13]


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.[14]


Following the 2022 election and a subsequent change of allegiance in January 2023, the composition of the council was:[15]

Party Councillors
Labour 40
Conservative 22
Independent 1
Total 63

The next election is due in 2026.


North London Business Park (NLBP) in New Southgate, where LB Barnet has large offices.[16]

The complex at Bristol Avenue in Colindale, completed in 2019,[17] 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.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Council minutes, 23 May 2023". Barnet London Borough Council. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 24 May 2022". Barnet London Borough Council. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  3. ^ Peck, Natalie (1 February 2017). "New Chief Executive appointed to Barnet Council". Barnet London Borough Council. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Find your councillors". Barnet Council.
  5. ^ "Your Councillors - London Borough of Barnet". Archived from the original on 18 November 2011.
  6. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0901050679.
  7. ^ Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 9780714648590.
  8. ^ "'easyCouncil' Barnet offloads services to Capita in £1bn deal". Evening Standard. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d High Court (Administrative Court), Nash, R (on the application of) v Capita Plc & Ors (2013) EWHC 1067 (Admin), published 29 April 2013, accessed 30 August 2022
  10. ^ Keating Chambers, R (NASH) v BARNET LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL, accessed 30 August 2022
  11. ^ Capita, Capita secures extension to Barnet Council contract, published 16 September 2022, accessed 3 December 2022
  12. ^ "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Civic amenity and recycling centre - London Borough of Barnet". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
  15. ^ Boothroyd, David (27 January 2023). "Labour scale Keppel's Column". Local Councils. Thorncliffe. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Contact details for customer-facing departments - London Borough of Barnet". Archived from the original on 11 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Colindale Office". Price Myers. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Council buildings". Barnet Council.