You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Surrey towns taken by London where people who live there wish they hadn't

Surrey Live logo Surrey Live 25/03/2023 Safiyyah Choudry

More than 50 years have passed since the Surrey border was sliced by the Greater London boundary revision. However, the debate surrounding it still remains, and some locals now feel less linked to their home county and more connected to London.

Surrey has a long history of border reform. Since 1889, the county has undergone some significant changes and in 1965, more of Surrey was swallowed up by London. The reform resulted in the towns of Coulsdon and Purley becoming part of the London borough of Croydon, causing confusion among visitors and new residents about their geographic location.

Richmond also continued to be part of Surrey until 1965, when the London Government Act of 1963 made it a part of Greater London. Since then, Richmond has formed part of the London borough of Richmond upon Thames. Bromley, now part of the London borough of Bromley, was mostly part of Kent county, but its westernmost extensions historically belong to Surrey.

READ MORE: Is Sutton in London or Surrey? We asked 30 residents and the result was surprising

Mitcham, also once part of Surrey, was merged with Merton, Morden, and Wimbledon to become the London borough of Merton, while Kingston became one of the London boroughs of Greater London. Kingston was home to the Surrey County Council's headquarters for 128 years, but in 2021 relocated back into the county to maintain its connection with Surrey.

The Surrey council is not alone in wanting to reside outside of London, and the cost of housing in London is driving increasing numbers out of the city. According to 2021 research from the London Assembly Housing Committee, four in 10 Londoners have considered moving out. Despite the convenience of having a London postcode, it means paying higher prices, further adding to the disappointment of those who were forced into London after the boundary review.

There was much opposition to the mergers during the 1960s, particularly in Coulsdon and Purley, where residents felt that their reluctance to be seen as part of Croydon was ignored. The changes have left some residents feeling disconnected from Surrey and more closely associated with London, with confusion still prevalent about where the border actually lies.

Sutton severed its links to Surrey in 1965 and became part of the London borough of Sutton. However, residents of the town were divided when asked if their hometown was part of Surrey or London. In 2020, SurreyLive asked 30 residents of Sutton which area they identify with.

Of those surveyed, 14 believed Sutton was part of London, and 16 believed it was part of Surrey. A resident, Frederick Kellaway, said: "It's London. I think we are more connected with London than we are with Surrey. Surrey we don't have much to do with now." However, another resident, Janet Marks, said she hadn't given it much thought but would choose Surrey.

She said: "I would say it's definitely more Surrey than London. But I'm not really bothered. If people ask you where you live you say Surrey, not the London Borough of Sutton. I'd always say Surrey." Although it’s been more than half a century since the boundary review, it’s clear some residents still feel confused, and the debate continues.



More from Surrey Live

Surrey Live
Surrey Live
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon