Borough of Hertsmere
Hertsmere shown within Hertfordshire
Hertsmere shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyHertfordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district, Borough
Admin HQBorehamwood
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyHertsmere Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsOliver Dowden
 • Total39.06 sq mi (101.16 km2)
 • Rank214th (of 309)
 • Total107,827
 • Rank223rd (of 309)
 • Density2,800/sq mi (1,100/km2)
 • Ethnicity
88.9% White
4.7% S.Asian
2.5% Black
2.0% Mixed
1.8% Chinese or Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code26UE (ONS)
E07000098 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ195975

Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other settlements in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar. The borough borders the three north London boroughs of Harrow, Barnet and Enfield, and is located mainly within the M25 Motorway.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the former area of Bushey Urban District and Potters Bar Urban District with Elstree Rural District and part of Watford Rural District (the parish of Aldenham). The Potters Bar Urban District (which coincided with the parish of South Mimms) was historically part of Middlesex, but had been transferred to Hertfordshire on 1 April 1965 when Greater London was created and Middlesex County Council abolished.

The name "Hertsmere" was invented for the new district by combining the common abbreviation of "Hertfordshire" ("Herts") with "mere", an archaic word for boundary. The name is doubly appropriate as the district straddles the historic county boundary between Middlesex and Hertfordshire and forms the administrative boundary between Hertfordshire and Greater London. The name is reflected in the council's coat of arms, which shows a hart upon the battlements of a boundary wall.

The district was awarded borough status on 15 April 1977.[1]

The borough was originally in the Metropolitan Police District, despite being outside the modern Greater London boundaries. It was transferred to Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2000.


Hertsmere is the location of Elstree Film and TV Studios, which produces such shows as Strictly Come Dancing, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Dancing on Ice, and is the location for the Big Brother house. The studios were bought by Hertsmere Borough Council in 1996 and are operated via Elstree Film Studios Ltd.

Hertsmere is also the location for BBC Elstree Centre, the site of EastEnders, Holby City, and formerly the home to Top of the Pops, before its move to BBC TV Centre.

The area was also home to other TV and film studios, including MGM, until this was demolished for residential development, and is now an area called Studio Way.


In the 2011 census, Hertsmere polled as the second most Jewish local authority in the United Kingdom, with Jews composing of one in seven residents (the highest being the North London borough of Barnet).[2]


Hertsmere Borough Council
John Graham, Conservative
since 18 May 2022
Morris Bright, Conservative
since 8 October 2007[3][4]
Political groups
Administration (29)
  Conservatives (29)

Opposition (10)

  Labour (7)
  Liberal Democrats (3)
Last election
2 May 2019
Meeting place
Hertsmere Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.jpg
Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood
CrestOn a Wreath Argent and Azure in front of an Oak Tree proper fructed Or a demi Hart Royal guardant proper gorged with a Mural Crown Or and resting the sinister forehoof on a Cinematograph Spool loaded with film proper.
BlazonOr on an embattled Wall of grey stone throughout in base Proper pierced with a gate therein a portcullis raised Sable a hart royal at gaze Proper.
SupportersOn either side a Hart Royal guardant proper gorged with a Mural Crown Or that on the dexter charged on the shoulder with an Artist's Palette proper and that on the sinister with a Potter's Wheel Or.
MottoDo Well And Fear Not
BadgeOn a Roundel Or environed of a Garland of Oak proper fructed Or issuant from an embattled Wall of grey stone throughout in base a Hart Royal's Head affronty proper.
Granted 5 September 1975 [5]

The borough council currently consists of 39 elected councillors, with all councillors being up for election at the same time every four years. As of the 2019 election there are 29 Conservative, 7 Labour and 3 Liberal Democrat councillors.[6]

Until 1983 the borough was included in the parliamentary constituency of Hertfordshire South. In 1983 the constituency was renamed Hertsmere.

Hertsmere had been represented in Parliament by Conservative, James Clappison since 1992. He succeeded Cecil Parkinson who had been Member of Parliament for the area since 1974. It is now represented by the Conservative, Oliver Dowden.


Party Councillors
Conservative 29
Labour 7
Liberal Democrats 3
Total 39
Source: Hertsmere Borough Council

The first council was elected in 1973 as a shadow authority, and was under no overall control: the Conservative Party won 25 seats, Labour 17 and the Liberals 13.

In 1976 the Conservatives gained a majority on the council which they held until 1994. For the next two years the council was under no overall control. The Labour Party then controlled the council from 1996 to the 1999 election, when the Conservatives regained control, which they have held since that date.


Hertsmere consists of fifteen wards. Wards electing two members are denoted with an obelisk (†).

Civic Awards

In 2003, the Borough Council started to present a small number of Civic Awards to people who live or work in Hertsmere 'in recognition of work undertaken for the benefit of residents of the Borough'.


The council inherited offices at Rudolph Road in Bushey, Darkes Lane in Potters Bar, and Shenley Road in Borehamwood from its predecessor authorities. A new building, called Hertsmere Civic Offices, was built in 1975–1976 on Elstree Way in Borehamwood to serve as the council's principal offices and meeting place.[7]

Elstree Studios

In 1993, the council bought Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.[8] They are now operated by Elstree Film Studios Limited, a council-controlled company.


The borough contains five parishes:

Four parishes have parish councils[9] Ridge, which has fewer than 200 electors, is governed by a parish meeting following the dissolution of its parish council.[10]

The areas of the former Bushey and Potters Bar urban districts are unparished.


  1. ^ Department of the Environment (May 1977). Alterations of area and status of local authorities (PDF). Retrieved 4 December 2021. Effective from 15 April 1977
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics 1 June 2006 accessed 1 January 2012
  3. ^ "About your council". Hertsmere Borough Council. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Extraordinary Meeting, Council - Monday, 8 October 2007". Hertsmere Borough Council. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  5. ^ "HERTSMERE BOROUGH COUNCIL (HERTS)". Robert Young. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Hertsmere Borough Council". BBC News Online. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  7. ^ Planning Application 75/209: Offices and ancillary accommodation of Hertsmere District Council at Elstree Way, Borehamwood. Permission granted 3 April 1975. (Referenced in planning application TP/13/0014.)
  8. ^ "Our History". Elstree Studios. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Parish/Town Councils and Councillors". Hertsmere Council. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Ridge Parish Council". St Giles’ Church, South Mymms and St Margaret’s Church, Ridge. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2011.

External links

Coordinates: 51°40′N 0°16′W / 51.66°N 0.27°W / 51.66; -0.27