Britwell shown within Berkshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
The name Britwell derives from the old English beorhtan wiellan meaning 'bright, clear well'.
The place now known as the Britwell Estate was originally farm land. Modern-day Britwell, which has the well-defined geographic boundaries of Farnham Lane (in the north), Lower Britwell Road and Haymill Road (to the west), Whittaker Road and Northborough Road (south) and Long Readings Lane (east), was created as a large overspill housing estate for bombed-out Londoners at the end of the Second World War. Britwell was one of a number of London County Council estates built at the time, with other estates in places including Langley and Swindon. The first of 11,000 tenants arrived in August 1956 and were delighted with the "roomy and modern" houses, complete with large swivel windows – "a boon to housewives". There was a dearth of amenities at first, but after the founding of the community association in 1959, the estate finally got a bus service into Slough, and a community centre in 1966.
In 1965, the London County Council was one of a number of authorities replaced by the Greater London Council (GLC). When the GLC was in turn abolished in 1986, the social housing on Britwell was transferred to Slough Borough Council. Mortgages issued by the GLC authority were transferred to the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
Following the Local Government Act 1972, Britwell was transferred to Berkshire, to form part of the borough of Slough. A civil parish was established at that point for the part of the estate that had previously lain in the Burnham civil parish. The current Parish Council has 13 parish councillors and covers approximately 60% of the Britwell Estate.
The Britwell Electoral ward includes the Parish area and extends westwards to the Five Points crossroads in Burnham. It has three borough councillors. The southern part of Long Readings Lane and the south side of Cowper Road became part of the Britwell ward for the first time in 2004 following a Boundary Commission review.
Britwell used to be renowned throughout the local area for its high rate of petty crime. In 2002 bus drivers refused to drive through there at night because of repeated incidents of three pre-teenage boys throwing stones at buses..
The Parish Council have provided premises for use as a Neighbourhood Police Office within their parish ground; this is well used by the local beat team, PCSOs and community wardens. The actual police office can be seen at www.slough.info/britwell/b08/b08.html
Britwell's row of shops featured as a backdrop in the dystopia themed movie V for Vendetta. Britwell has also featured in the ITV drama Torn. The shops also represented 1970s Belfast in the film Titanic Town starring Julie Walters.
- BBC News Online, Crime crackdown on estate begins, 3 August 2004.