London Borough of Newham

The London Borough of Newham /ˈnjəm/ (listen) is a London borough formed from the former Essex county boroughs of West Ham and East Ham, within east London, the name Newham reflecting its creation and combining the compass points of the old borough names.

London Borough of Newham

Coat of arms

Council logo
Newham shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQEast Ham
  TypeLondon borough council
  BodyNewham London Borough Council
  LeadershipMayor and Cabinet (Labour)
  Executive mayorRokhsana Fiaz (Labour)
  London AssemblyUnmesh Desai (Labour) AM for City and East
  MPsLyn Brown (Labour)
Stephen Timms (Labour)
  EU ParliamentLondon
  Total13.98 sq mi (36.22 km2)
Area rank289th (of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
  Rank19th (of 317)
  Density25,000/sq mi (9,700/km2)
16.7% White British
0.7% White Irish
0.2% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
11.4% Other White
1.3% White & Black Caribbean
1.1% White & Black African
0.9% White & Asian
1.3% Other Mixed
13.8% Indian
9.8% Pakistani
12.1% Bangladeshi
1.3% Chinese
6.5% Other Asian
12.3% Black African
4.9% Black Caribbean
2.4% Other Black
1.1% Arab
2.3% Other
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s)020
ONS code00BB
GSS codeE09000025
PoliceMetropolitan Police

It is 5 miles (8 km) east of the City of London, north of the River Thames. Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and contains most of the Olympic Park including the London Stadium. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council.

The borough's motto, from its coat of arms, is "Progress with the People". The coat of arms was derived from that of the County Borough of West Ham, while the motto is a translation of the County Borough of East Ham's Latin "Progressio cum Populo".[2]


The borough was formed by merging the former area of the Essex county borough of East Ham and the county borough of West Ham as a borough of the newly formed Greater London, on 1 April 1965 – these in turn were successors to the ancient civil and ecclesiastical parishes of East Ham and West Ham. Green Street and Boundary Road mark the former boundary between the two. North Woolwich also became part of the borough (previously being in the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, south of the river Thames in the County of London) along with a small area west of the River Roding which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barking. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.[3]

Ham(me): Pre-partition origins

The area of the modern borough was at one time occupied by a territory called 'Ham'.

The first known written use of the term, as 'Hamme', is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 958, and again in the 1086 Domesday Book as Hame. It is formed from Old English 'hamm' and means 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring to the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lea, Thames and Roding and their marshes.[4]

These natural boundaries suggest that Little Ilford, North Woolwich and areas of the parish of Barking west of the Roding are likely to have been part of Ham(me).

The territory was subdivided into the more familiar West and East Ham sometime in the 12th century, with the earliest recorded distinction being as 'Westhamma' in 1186. It could be speculated that the partition arose as a result of population increase resulting from economic prosperity delivered by the construction of Bow Bridge over the Lea and the creation of Stratford Langthorne Abbey.

North Woolwich was removed from Ham at an earlier date, in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest but it is unclear when Little Ilford and western Barking were transferred, and it is not known for sure that they were part of Ham.

The boundary between West and East Ham was drawn from the now lost Hamfrith Waste and Hamfrith Wood in the north (then the southernmost parts of Epping Forest which extended as far south as the Romford Road at that time), along Green Street down to the small, similarly lost, natural harbour known as Ham Creek.

The formation of the modern borough in 1965 saw the merger of West and East Ham, together with North Woolwich and Barking west of the River Roding (Little Ilford had become part of East Ham as part of earlier local government reorganisations). This reorganisation effectively re-established the earlier territory of Ham.


Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly elected mayor of Newham. From 2002 to 2009 one of the councillors had been appointed as the "civic ambassador" and performed the civic and ceremonial role previously carried out by the mayor. The post has been discontinued.[5]

The borough is 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. The council is actively campaigning to have Newham officially considered part of Inner London in order to increase its level of government grant by £60 million.

At the borough elections held in 2014, the Labour Party won all 60 of the seats on the Council. Sir Robin Wales was re-elected as the borough's Executive Mayor with 61% of the first preference votes cast.

In 2018, Robin Wales was deselected as the Labour Party mayoral candidate. Rokhsana Fiaz was elected in the position of Executive Mayor, also for the Labour party.[6]


Source: A Vision of Britain through time, citing Census population

Newham has the youngest overall population and one of the lowest indigenous White British populations in the country according to the 2011 UK Census. The borough has the second-highest percentage of Muslims in the UK, after the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, at 32%. A 2017 report from Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that 36% of local employees in Newham are in low paid work; the highest percentage of any London borough. Newham also has a 37% poverty rate, which is the second-highest rate in London.[7]

When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 UK Census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15.[8] 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 second-most ethnically diverse borough[9] with six out of the top 15 wards, behind Brent with 7 out of the top 15 wards.


In 2018, Newham had the lowest life expectancy and the highest rate of heart disease of all London boroughs together with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.[10]

In 2019, BBC reported that Newham had the highest rate of tuberculosis in the UK at 107 per 100000 population, which was higher than Rwanda (69) and Iraq (45) according to WHO figures from 2013. More than 80% of TB cases in London occur in people born abroad. The UK average was 13.[11]

Ethnic Group 2001[12] 2011[13] 2016 (Projection)[14]
Number % Number % Percentage (%)
White: British82,39033.78%51,51616.73% 13.5%
White: Irish3,2311.32%2,1720.71% 0.7%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller4620.15% -
White: Other10,5094.31%35,06611.39% 12.6%
White: Total96,13039.42%89,21628.97% 26.8%
Asian or Asian British: Indian29,59712.14%42,48413.79% 15.0%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani20,6448.46%30,3079.84% 10.4%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi21,4588.80%37,26212.10% 12.4%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese2,3490.96%3,9301.28% 1.4%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian7,6033.12%19,9126.47% 6.6%
Asian or Asian British: Total81,65133.48%133,89543.47% 46.1%
Black or Black British: Caribbean17,9317.35%15,0504.89% 4.4%
Black or Black British: African31,98213.11%37,81112.28% 11.2%
Black or Black British: Other Black2,7401.12%7,3952.40% 2.6%
Black or Black British: Total52,65321.59%60,25619.56% 18.3%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean2,9861.22%3,9571.28% -
Mixed: White and Black African1,6570.68%3,3191.08% -
Mixed: White and Asian1,6520.68%2,6770.87% -
Mixed: Other Mixed1,9530.80%3,9921.30% -
Mixed: Total8,2483.38%13,9454.53% 4.9%
Other: Arab3,5231.14% -
Other: Any other ethnic group7,1492.32% -
Other: Total5,2092.14%10,6723.47% 3.9%
BAME: Total147,76160.58%218,76871.03% -
Total243,891100.00%307,984100.00% 100.00%

Newham has the lowest percentage of White British residents of all of London's boroughs. The White British proportion of the population fell from 33.8% in 2001 to 16.7% in 2011; this decrease of 37.5 percentage points is the largest of any local authority in England and Wales between the two censuses.[15] The joint-lowest wards with White British population are Green Street East and Green Street West, both having 4.8% – the third-lowest behind Southall Broadway and Southall Green in Ealing. East Ham North follows closely, at 4.9%.[16]

People of White British ancestry nevertheless remain the largest single ethnic group in the borough. The largest non-White British ethnic groups are Indian (14%), African (12%), Bangladeshi (12%) and Pakistani (10%). Newham has had a large Indian community for many decades. The ethnic group to increase the most in number since 1991 is the Bangladeshi community.[17]


Religion in Newham as of 2011.

  Christianity (40%)
  Islam (32%)
  Irreligion (9.3%)
  Hindu (8.8%)
  Sikh (2.1%)
  Buddhist (0.8%)
  Jewish (0.1%)
  Other (6.9%)


A 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute finds that the GCSE attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils in Newham is the 4th best out of 32 London boroughs.[18]

Schools and colleges

The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools.[19] The borough also owns and operates Debden House, a residential adult education college in Loughton, Essex, and is home to the Rosetta Art Centre, a dedicated visual art organisation which delivers courses at its base in Stratford and produces participatory art projects, programmes and initiatives. The Essex Primary School in Sheridan Road with over 900 pupils is one of the biggest primary schools in London.


The University of East London has two campuses in Newham:

Birkbeck Stratford is a collaboration between Birkbeck, University of London and UEL to increase participation in adult learning. This is based on the UEL/Birkbeck shared campus, USS (University Square Stratford), in the centre of Stratford.

The University of East London had formed a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee which resulted in the United States Olympic Team using University of East London campuses as training bases during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[20]

Places of interest


  • The Hub, a 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 innovative green resource centre built by the community. Grassroots is in Memorial Recreation Ground, E15
  • Rosetta Art Centre, situated in walking distance to Grassroots, also in E15


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

Canning Town 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 from air raids in 1940 and 1941). Its opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 9:30am–5:30pm, Wednesday and Sunday: Closed, Thursday: 9:30am–8:00pm.[21]



There are a number of local markets in the Borough, including Queens Market, which the Council is controversially seeking to redevelop. These proposals are being fought by Friends of Queens Market.

Parks and open spaces

80 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.


  • Stratford Circus Arts Centre, a community arts venue which presents theatre, dance, music, circus and comedy from around the world for communities in Newham and East London. The organisation works with schools and local groups in Newham to provide classes, workshops and outreach opportunities. Stratford Circus Arts Centre partners with Newham Council for Every Child a Theatre Goer which invites every year 6 child to a performance at the venue
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • St Mark's Church, Silvertown The church was designed by Samuel Saunders Teulon. It was built between 1861 and 1862 after a cholera epidemic swept the district and local clergy appealed through the columns of The Times for funds to provide an architectural, as well as spiritual, beacon for the area. It is now the home of the Brick Lane Music Hall.

Shopping and exhibitions



The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder.[24]



The borough is covered by the following ecclesiastical parishes of the Church of England:


Transport in Newham is undergoing a major upgrade, with the completed Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Line Extension, with new or improved stations at Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford. Stratford International station on High Speed 1 opened in late 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 Airport.

List of stations

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 23.0% of all residents aged 16–74; driving a car or van, 7.6%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.6%; train, 7.2%; on foot, 4.1%; work mainly at or from home, 1.4%; bicycle, 1.0%.[25]

River services

Cable car

International services

Bus routes

London Buses routes 5, 25, 58, 69, 86, 97, 101, 104, 108, 115, 147, 158, 173, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 300, 308, 309, 323, 325, 330, 339, 366, 376, 388, 425, 473, 474, 541, D8, W19, School buses routes 673, 678 and Night route N8, N15, N86, N205, N550 and N551.[27]

Town twinning

Newham is twinned with:

See also

References and notes

  1. 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. "The Civic Ambassador, The Coat of Arms". Archive.Newham.Gov.UK. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  3. Mills, Anthony David (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280106-6
  4. Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Vote 2018: Newham mayoral election result". BBC News. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  7. "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  8. Simpson's diversity indices by ward 1991 and 2001 – GLA Data Management and Analysis Group (page 11, Table 3) Archived 29 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine Greater London Authority, January 2006), accessed 13 December 2006
  9. ":: Newham – Focus On Newham ::". 13 September 2007. Archived from the original on 13 September 2007.
  10. "Diabetes and heart disease in Bangladeshis and Pakistanis | East London Genes & Health". (in Bengali). Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  11. "London areas have higher TB than Iraq". 27 October 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  12. "Census 2001 tables". NOMIS. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  13. "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  14. "Newham Info". Archived from the original on 29 March 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  15. "600,000 move out in decade of 'white flight' from London: White Britons are now in minority in the capital". Daily Mail.
  16. "The Ethnic Cleansing of London (Part 2) - British Democrats | British Democrats". 31 January 2013. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  17. "Revised document links | Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  18. "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  19. Education and Learning London Borough of Newham, accessed 24 March 2008
  20. "2012 Partners - 2012 Office - UEL". 23 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010.
  21. Cherry, Bridget et al. London 5: East: the Buildings of England, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005
  22. "Decision - North Woolwich Old Station Museum Closure". 21 January 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  23. "Green Street London E7 - Asian Shopping in London". Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  24. Newham news, sport, leisure, property, jobs and motors Newham Recorder
  25. "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  26. "Eurostar 'will not stop' at Stratford International". BBC News. 25 May 2010.
  27. "Keeping London moving - Transport for London". 9 November 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.

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