Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 15 miles northwest of central London, on the River Colne. Under the Local Government Act 1972, Watford retained the same boundaries, but changed from a municipal borough to a non-metropolitan district with borough status. [49] Since 1999, Watford has been divided into 12 wards. [32] Each municipality has three councillors elected for a four-year term. Watford elects one MP under the first postal voting system for the constituency of Watford. Prior to the creation of this constituency in 1885, the area was part of the Hertfordshire constituency. [33] The main street is the focal point of nightlife with a high concentration of bars, clubs and restaurants in the city. The main shopping district is Harlequin Shopping Centre, a large purpose-built shopping centre with over 140 shops, restaurants and cafes built in the 1990s and officially opened in June 1992. The owners of the shopping centre, Capital Shopping Centres, changed their name to Intu, which led to The Harlequin being renamed `Intu Watford` from May 2013. [51] The company carried forward a debt of £4.5 billion to 2020,[52] did not survive the retail downturn due to the COVID-19 crisis and went bankrupt in June 2020. [53] The city council owns part of the ownership of the site and believes that the hugely popular shopping centre (it was one of the top 20 shopping locations in the UK in 2019) will remain open and viable. Watford became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894 and a municipal borough by charter in 1922.[54] The borough, which had a population of 90,301 at the 2011 census, is separated from Greater London to the south by the Three Rivers District. Watford City Council is the local authority headed by the Mayor of Watford – one of 18 directly elected mayors in England and Wales.

City Hall is open to you to use self-help computers, phones and tablets at reception to access support and advice services. The Council is twinned with five cities. The first was Mainz, Germany, in 1956, and the youngest was Pesaro, Italy, in 1988; the others are Nanterre,[34] Novgorod and Wilmington, Delaware. [35] Council grants the District`s honorary liberty status to certain persons “who, in the opinion of Council, have rendered exceptional service to the District”; From 2020, there will be three free men: Elton John and two councillors involved in the partnership process. Under the Local Government Act 1894, Watford Local Council was renamed Watford Urban District Council with effect from 31 December 1894.[36] The law also stipulated that parishes could not be located partly within a district and partly outside it. The former parish of Watford was thus divided, with the part of the parish outside the urban district becoming the parish of Watford Rural from the first town meeting on 4 December 1894. At the same time, the parish of Bushey was divided, with the part of the urban district of Watford becoming a parish called Bushey Urban, which was renamed Oxhey in 1906. Watford Urban and Bushey Urban/Oxhey were both classified as urban municipalities and therefore did not have their own municipal councils, but were administered directly by Watford Urban District Council. [44] The two urban communities merged in 1935 to form a single municipality called Watford. [45] Watford has two levels of local government, borough and county: Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council. The district had a population of 90,301 at the 2011 census.

The borough is separated from Greater London to the south by the urbanised community of Watford Rural in the Three Rivers Borough.[28] The Watford subdivision of the Greater London Urban Area, which includes much of the neighbouring boroughs, had a total population of 120,960 at the 2001 census. [29] At the beginning of the 20th century, the city developed rapidly. New roads were built on farmland in Callowland, North Watford and West Watford. Many continued to live in the cramped and unsanitary houses in the courtyards and alleys that opened onto the main road. [17] Some of these people were among those who sparked riots in 1902 when celebrations for the coronation of King Edward VII were postponed. [18] The council had a slum clearance program, which was interrupted with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The construction of social housing resumed after the war and in the 1920s the Harebreaks estate was developed. [19] Answers to your questions can usually be found on a department`s website or by contacting them directly. A plan to introduce a light rail system in Watford was devised in 2009 when it was proposed to convert the Abbey line into a tram service and operate it by Hertfordshire County Council. [99] The project was cancelled due to complications and costs associated with transferring the line from National Rail to County Council. [100] Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden is an 80-acre film studio complex that has been used for a variety of Hollywood film productions.

Part of the site is open to the public and is home to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which features costumes and sets from the Harry Potter films produced in Leavesden. The studio complex is located in the north of the district, about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from the city centre, and a special shuttle bus connects Watford Junction train station to the studios. [27] The only independent high school in the district is Stanborough School, a day school and boarding school run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.