Borough of Dartford

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Borough of Dartford
Aerial of Dartford and the Dartford Crossing over the River Thames
Aerial of Dartford and the Dartford Crossing over the River Thames
Dartford shown within Kent
Dartford shown within Kent
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyKent
StatusNon-metropolitan district, Borough
Admin HQDartford
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyDartford Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsGareth Johnson
 • Total28.10 sq mi (72.77 km2)
 • Rank227th (of 296)
 • Total116,777
 • Rank205th (of 296)
 • Density4,200/sq mi (1,600/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code29UD (ONS)
E07000107 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ538739

The Borough of Dartford is a local government district in the north-west of the county of Kent, England. Its council is based in the town of Dartford. It is part of the contiguous London urban area. It borders the borough of Gravesham to the east, Sevenoaks District to the south, the London Borough of Bexley to the west, and the Thurrock unitary authority in Essex to the north, across the River Thames. The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Dartford, the Swanscombe Urban District, and part of the Dartford Rural District. The 2011 Census had a population of 97,365 which increased to 116,800 in the 2021 census.


Dartford Borough Council
Rosanna Currans,
since 24 May 2023
Jeremy Kite,
since 27 February 2006
Sarah Martin
Seats42 councillors
Political groups
Administration (29)
  Conservative (29)
Other parties (13)
  Labour (11)
  Residents Association (1)
  Green (1)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1DR

Since 2010, the Dartford constituency's Member of Parliament (MP) is Gareth Johnson (Conservative) who replaced the outgoing Howard Stoate (Labour).

The leader of the council, from February 2006, is Councillor Jeremy Kite (Conservative). Councillors represent the following seventeen wards as of 2018:[2]

  • Bean and Village Park
  • Brent
  • Bridge
  • Burnham
  • Darenth
  • Ebbsfleet
  • Greenhithe and Knockhall
  • Heath
  • Joydens Wood
  • Longfield, New Barn and Southfleet
  • Maypole and Leyton Cross
  • Newtown
  • Princes
  • Stone Castle
  • Stone House
  • Swanscombe
  • Temple Hill
  • Town
  • West Hill
  • Wilmington, Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley

NB the boundaries of these wards do not necessarily coincide with the parish boundaries.

Political control[edit]

As of May 2019, the council is made up as follows:[3]

Party Councillors
Conservative Party 29
Labour Party 10
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association 3

The following civil parishes are also included in the borough:

In addition to the settlements named above, there is the urban village of Joydens Wood to the south-west of the town.

Dartford Youth Council[edit]

Dartford also has a youth council called the Dartford Youth Council (DYC) which comprises members of the youth representing local secondary schools, youth groups (such as Scouts).[4] They discuss important issues relating to the youth of Dartford, such as mental health, to staying fit and how they can help and combat those issues. They attend a monthly meeting, at the Dartford Civic Centre. They have represented Dartford's youth in several events.[5] Every November, members attend and represent Dartford Youth Council in the annual Dartford Remembrance Parade.[5]

Communications in the borough[edit]


Ebbsfleet International

There are seven railway stations in the borough: at Stone; Greenhithe (for Bluewater); Swanscombe and Dartford, all on the North Kent Line; and Longfield and Farningham Road on the VictoriaChatham Main Line. From Dartford there are three lines serving London and one to Gravesend, the Medway Towns and eastern Kent. For many services Dartford is the terminus.

Ebbsfleet International railway station on High Speed 1 opened in the east of the borough on 19 November 2007. Six high-speed services to Paris and five to Brussels ran daily from here by Eurostar. However since the Covid Pandemic trains destined for the Continent no longer stop in Kent at all. Despite efforts to reverse this decision, Eurostar have said they will only reconsider the situation sometime in 2025. The station still carries commuters to St Pancras station in London in only 17 minutes, and to Stratford International (next to the 2012 Summer Olympics site) in just 10 minutes, while eastbound commuter services link Ebbsfleet to Ashford International, Dover, Folkestone and other stations in Kent.

Notable bus service[edit]

The first of the Fastrack bus services, using a combination of ordinary roads and dedicated 'bus tracks' commenced in March 2006. The service runs from the Temple Hill area of Dartford, through the town centre and on to Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe, Ebbsfleet International and Gravesend.


Fastrack at Bluewater Shopping Centre

Three of the county's main roads pass through the borough boundaries: the M25 and M20 motorways and the A2 dual carriageway. The A20, A225 and the A226 roads also cross the borough, among others.

Dartford gives its name to the Dartford Crossing of the River Thames, a pair of road tunnels (constructed in 1963 and 1980), with the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (October 1991), dual-linking Kent with Essex and connecting sections of the London Orbital M25 motorway.

Housing and architecture[edit]

St Nicholas's church, Southfleet, is in the borough.

The layout of the district is clustered development in the northern half and buffered, dispersed settlement interspersed by the North Downs which is an escarpment of varied farms and woodland in the south.

Housing is a mixture of relatively high rise in Dartford centre through to low rise in all of the villages.

The number of listed buildings in the district exceeds 50. This includes 7 churches listed in the highest grading in the national listing system (Grade I).


2011 census[edit]

The population rose in the 10 years to 2011 from 85,911 to 97,365, by 13.3%, which was above the national average.

87.3% of residents were born in England, which was 2.5% higher than the average for the South East. The next most common group of countries of birth was the non-EU, however this was 0.3% lower than the average for the South-East and 2% lower than the average for England.

As to residents of EU birth, only 3.3% of the population were such, slightly below the national average and two-thirds of this migration was from the accession countries from 2001 to 2011, a 12.5% higher proportion than that seen nationwide.

As to older people, the borough has a below national and regional proportion. In common with most of the country, an increase in people living in their area above the age of 74 took place, whether through change in preference or most commonly longevity, from 6.5% in 2001 to 7.1% in 2011.

With 80.8% of households with a car or van, this was 6.6% above the national average, however still marginally lower than South East's record and national-high of 81.4%.

1.0% of the population lived in a communal establishment in the area.

As to homes, as 12.6% of properties in the area are detached, these form a smaller minority than the regional and national averages (at 28.0% and 22.3% of dwellings respectively).

Its people in 2011 were more economically active than the regional and national average; while self-employed inhabitants were at parity with the national average, those in full-time employment were 6.0% greater.

As to religion, statistics mirrored closely the national average, save that more Hindus and Sikhs live in the borough, at a combined, equally split 3.2% of the total population and fewer Muslims, also forming 1.6% of the population. Being almost at the mean for the country, Christians form just over 60% of the area's population.[6]

2021 census[edit]


Exterior of Bluewater

Although many of area's traditional industries of papermaking, cement, and pharmaceuticals are in decline or closing down, and many of borough's inhabitants travel away from the borough by rail and road (many commuting to London and other areas for work), there is still a large industrial and commercial base. Included among those areas include 'The Bridge' and Crossways to either side of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, areas around Greenhithe and a 740-acre (3.0 km2) site planned to contain five separate 'villages' in the Eastern Quarry near Bluewater Shopping Centre, itself a large employer.

In October 2012 Dartford and Gravesham councils co-announced plans for a major theme park to be built on the Swanscombe peninsula, which would create up to 27,000 jobs by 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Dartford Horse Local Authority (E07000107)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ The Dartford (Electoral Changes) Order 2018
  3. ^ Dartford Borough Council
  4. ^ Approve, IT. "Dartford Youth Council". Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Our Work". Dartford Youth Council. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  6. ^ "2011 Census". Archived from the original on 11 February 2003. Retrieved 21 June 2013.

External links[edit]