Three Rivers District

Coordinates: 51°38′19.28″N 0°28′9.46″W / 51.6386889°N 0.4692944°W / 51.6386889; -0.4692944
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Three Rivers
Three Rivers District
Three Rivers shown within Hertfordshire
Three Rivers shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyHertfordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQRickmansworth
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyThree Rivers District Council
 • MPsDaisy Cooper
Gagan Mohindra
Dean Russell
 • Total34.3 sq mi (88.8 km2)
 • Rank224th (of 314)
 • Total93,771
 • Rank259th (of 314)
 • Density2,700/sq mi (1,100/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]
86.3% White
9.2% S.Asian
1.9% Black
2.3% Mixed Race
0.4% Arab or Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code26UJ (ONS)
E07000102 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ0591494481

Three Rivers is a local government district in south-west Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Rickmansworth. The district borders Hertsmere, Watford, St Albans, Dacorum, Buckinghamshire, and the London boroughs of Hillingdon and Harrow.


Three Rivers District was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the whole area of two former districts and most of a third, which were all abolished at the same time:[2]

The new district was named "Three Rivers", referencing the rivers Chess, Colne, and Gade which flow through the district and have their confluence in Rickmansworth, the largest town in the district.[3]


Three Rivers District Council
Phil Williams,
Liberal Democrats
since 23 May 2023[4]
Sarah Nelmes,
Liberal Democrats
since 14 July 2020[5]
Joanne Wagstaffe
since 3 February 2020[6]
Seats39 councillors
22 / 39
11 / 39
3 / 39
2 / 39
1 / 39
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
Meeting place
Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, WD3 1RL

Hertfordshire has a two-tier structure of local government, with the ten district councils (including Three Rivers District Council) providing district-level services, and Hertfordshire County Council providing county-level services. In some areas there is an additional third tier of civil parishes.[7]


Three Rivers District Council carries out a variety of district council functions including:

  • Benefits - Housing and Council Tax
  • Car Parking
  • Concessionary Travel
  • Council Tax - Administration and Collection
  • Elections and Electoral Registration
  • Environmental Health
  • Food Safety and Hygiene Complaints
  • Noise Pollution and Pest Control
  • Housing Administration
  • Licensing
  • Caravan Sites
  • Town Planning
  • Public Conveniences
  • Health and Leisure Centres
  • Refuse Collection
  • Recycling
  • Tourism and Visitor Information

Political control[edit]

The Liberal Democrats have held a majority of the seats on the council since 2018. The leaders of the council have been Liberal Democrats (or their predecessors, the SDP–Liberal Alliance) since 1986, including through some periods of minority administrations when the council was under no overall control.

The first election to Three Rivers District Council was held in 1973, initially acting as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control since 1974 has been as follows:[8][9]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1986
No overall control 1986–1987
Alliance 1987–1988
Liberal Democrats 1988–1990
No overall control 1990–1999
Liberal Democrats 1999–2015
No overall control 2015–2016
Liberal Democrats 2017–2018
No overall control 2018–2018
Liberal Democrats 2018–present


The leaders of the council since 1986 have been:[10]

Councillor Party From To
Ann Shaw Liberal Democrats 1986 17 May 2016
Sara Bedford Liberal Democrats 17 May 2016 14 Jul 2020
Sarah Nelmes Liberal Democrats 14 Jul 2020


Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council is:[11]

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrats 22
Conservative 11
Labour 3
Green 2
Independent 1
Total 39

The next election is due in May 2024.


The council's main offices are at Three Rivers House on Northway in the centre of Rickmansworth, which was purpose-built for the council in 1991.[12]


Since the last boundary changes in 2014 the council has comprised 39 councillors representing 13 wards, each of which elects three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, electing one councillor from each ward each time. Elections to Hertfordshire County Council are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no district council elections.[13]


The wards of the district are:[13]

Wider politics[edit]

County council[edit]

For elections to Hertfordshire County Council, the district is divided into six divisions, three of which are held by the Conservatives, and three by the Liberal Democrats:

Hertfordshire County Councillors for divisions in Three Rivers[14]
Division Councillor Party
Abbots Langley Sara Bedford Liberal Democrats
Croxley Chris Lloyd Liberal Democrats
Rickmansworth East and Oxhey Park Reena Ranger Conservative
Rickmansworth West Paula Hiscocks Conservative
South Oxhey and Eastbury Christopher Alley Conservative
Three Rivers Rural Phil Williams Liberal Democrats


For parliamentary elections, the district is divided across three constituencies. Most of the district is within the South West Hertfordshire constituency, which is considered a safe Conservative seat and held by a Conservative MP (currently Gagan Mohindra) since its creation in 1950. The eastern parts of the constituency, to the north and south of Watford, are part of that borough's constituency, which is a three-way marginal currently held by Conservative Dean Russell, having fluctuated between Labour and the Conservatives. Parts of two wards, north of the M25, are in the St Albans constituency, which is currently held by the Liberal Democrat Daisy Cooper.

Seat Wards MP Party
St Albans Abbots Langley and Bedmond (part), Gade Valley (part) Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrats
South West Hertfordshire Carpenders Park (part), Chorleywood North and Sarratt, Chorleywood South and Maple Cross, Durrants, Moor Park and Eastbury, Oxhey Hall and Hayling (part), Penn and Mill End, Rickmansworth Town, South Oxhey Gagan Mohindra Conservative
Watford Abbots Langley and Bedmond (part), Carpenders Park (part), Gade Valley (part), Leavesden, Oxhey Hall and Hayling (part) Dean Russell Conservative
Source: Boundary Commission for England


Train services are provided by Chiltern Railways and the Metropolitan line of the London Underground.

London Underground stations:

Chiltern Railways stations:

A special fare structure exists as the stations are outside the Greater London boundary.

London Overground stations:

West Coast Main Line stations:


Civil parishes[edit]

Three Rivers is partially parished. There are six civil parishes in the district:[15]

There are also two unparished areas in the district, both comprising parts of the former Rickmansworth Urban District which have not subsequently been added to a parish: one larger area including Maple Cross and Mill End, Rickmansworth; and a smaller area including part of Loudwater.[15]


  1. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics". Office for National Statistics (ONS). Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  2. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 12 May 2023
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 12 May 2023
  4. ^ "Council meeting, 23 May 2023". Three Rivers District Council. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Council minutes, 14 July 2020". Three Rivers District Council. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Three Rivers appoints new Chief Executive". Three Rivers District Council. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 3 March 2023
  8. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Three Rivers". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Council minutes". Three Rivers District Council. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Three Rivers election result". BBC News. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  12. ^ "Tour the council". Harefield Gazette. 9 October 1991. p. 3. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  13. ^ a b "The Three Rivers (Electoral Changes) Order 2014",, The National Archives, SI 2014/243, retrieved 15 May 2023
  14. ^ "Hertfordshire's County Councillors". Hertfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 25 September 2021.

External links[edit]

51°38′19.28″N 0°28′9.46″W / 51.6386889°N 0.4692944°W / 51.6386889; -0.4692944