The borough was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and much of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, but excluding Clapham and most of Streatham, both of which were transferred to the London Borough of Lambeth.
The borough borders the London Borough of Lambeth to the east, the London Borough of Merton and the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames to the south, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to the west and to the north (across the River Thames) three boroughs, namely the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster.
According to the 2001 census Wandsworth has a population of 260,380. 78% of the population is White, 9.6% Afro-Caribbean and 6.9% South Asian.
Oddly, Clapham Junction station is in Battersea, rather than Clapham. There are many new or refurbished buildings along the borough's prosperous riverside including the large Chelsea Bridge Wharf. The Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park stands out looking into the borough from across the Thames.
The first Mayor of Wandsworth was Sir Luke Brown of Demster Road (former opium baron), who was elected to the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth in 1900. Sir Luke Brown's initials are highlighted in the diamonds in the centre of the Mayor's chain of office.
The Executive has nine Conservative members and is presided over by Cllr Edward Lister who has been Leader of the Council since 1992.
The fess, or crossing, of the shield is chequered blue and gold representing the arms of William de Warren, created first Earl of Surrey by William Rufus. Each gold square bears a teardrop representing the tears of the French Huguenots, many of whom settled in Wandsworth in 1685.
The ship at the top may refer to the Wendels, a tribe of sea-raiders from the continent who supposedly gave their name to the district, for Wendelsworth was an early variation of Wandsworth. The four shields and oars on the ship represent the four parishes of Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth.
The dove to the left is taken from the former Battersea coat of arms and the black dragon to the right was taken from the former Wandsworth arms and also refers to London, being similar to the City of London coat of arms.
Wandsworth is administered by 60 councillors, 3 apiece from 20 wards. Since the London local elections 2006, 51 of these councillors are Conservative and 9 are Labour The Conservatives have had an overall majority on the council since 1978, despite demographics that would suggest a higher level of support for Labour; the fact that it has always held the lowest, or second-lowest, council tax rates in the country, currently half the national average has led to great success at local level, with no Conservative MPs in the borough between 1997 and 2005 (where Putney, mostly in the borough, was captured by Justine Greening), but solid control of the council.
|Overall control||Conservative||Labour||Lib Dem|
The borough contains three parliamentary constituencies:
Five bridges join Wandsworth to the three London Boroughs on the north side of the Thames (from downstream following the river up):
There are also a number of bridges crossing the River Wandle which runs through the centre of Wandsworth town and divides the borough in two.
National Rail services are operated from London Waterloo by South West Trains to Earlsfield, Putney, Queenstown Road (Battersea), Wandsworth Town and the borough's most major station, Clapham Junction. This last station is also served from London Victoria by Southern as are Balham, Battersea Park and Wandsworth Common.
Wandsworth has responsibility for three Metropolitan Open Spaces:
These three large green spaces together with a range of smaller parks and playgrounds are patrolled by a Wandsworth Council's own parks police known as Wandsworth Parks Police