Three Rivers District

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Three Rivers
Three Rivers District
Church Street, Rickmansworth - - 5250876.jpg
Rickmansworth town centre and Grade II parish church
Three Rivers UK locator map.svg
Three Rivers shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England
Non-metropolitan county Hertfordshire
Status Non-metropolitan district
Admin HQ Rickmansworth
Incorporated1 April 1974
  TypeNon-metropolitan district council
  BodyThree Rivers District Council
   MPs Daisy Cooper
Gagan Mohindra
Dean Russell
  Total34.3 sq mi (88.8 km2)
  Rank206th (of 296)
  Rank254th (of 296)
  Density2,700/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
   Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
Time zone UTC0 (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code 26UJ (ONS)
E07000102 (GSS)
OS grid reference TQ0591494481

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
Three Rivers District Council.svg
Raj Khiroya,
Liberal Democrats
since 12 December 2023 [4]
Sarah Nelmes,
Liberal Democrats
since 14 July 2020 [5]
Joanne Wagstaffe
since 3 February 2020 [6]
Seats39 councillors
Political groups
Administration (21)
  Liberal Democrats (21)
Other parties (18)
  Conservative (12)
  Labour (3)
  Green (2)
  Independent (1)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
2 May 2024
Meeting place
Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth.jpg
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:

Political control

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 controlYears
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]

Ann Shaw Liberal Democrats 198617 May 2016
Sara Bedford Liberal Democrats 17 May 201614 Jul 2020
Sarah Nelmes Liberal Democrats 14 Jul 2020


Following the 2023 election and a by-election in December 2023, [11] and change of allegiance in February 2024, [12] the composition of the council was: [13]

Liberal Democrats 21
Conservative 12
Labour 3
Green 2
Independent 1

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. The site had been part of the grounds of Basing House, which had bought by the old Rickmansworth Urban District Council in 1930 to serve as its headquarters. [14] [15]


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. [16]


The wards of the district are: [16]

Wider politics

County council

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 [17]
Abbots LangleySara Bedford Liberal Democrats
CroxleyChris Lloyd Liberal Democrats
Rickmansworth East and Oxhey Park Reena Ranger Conservative
Rickmansworth WestPaula Hiscocks Conservative
South Oxhey and EastburyChristopher Alley Conservative
Three Rivers RuralPhil 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.

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

Three Rivers is partially parished. There are six civil parishes in the district: [18]

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. [18]


  1. 1 2 UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Three Rivers Local Authority (E07000102)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics . Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  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 minutes, 12 December 2023". Three Rivers District Council. Retrieved 10 March 2024.
  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. McGuinness, Fintan (2 November 2023). "Three Rivers Council chairman Phil Williams resigns seat". Watford Observer. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  12. Boothroyd, David (16 February 2024). "Will you ever win?". Local Councils. Thorncliffe. Retrieved 10 March 2024.
  13. "Three Rivers election result". BBC News. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  14. "Tour the council". Harefield Gazette. 9 October 1991. p. 3. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  15. "Rickmansworth: Basing House". Buckinghamshire Examiner. 14 November 1930. p. 1. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  16. 1 2 "The Three Rivers (Electoral Changes) Order 2014", , The National Archives, SI 2014/243, retrieved 15 May 2023
  17. "Hertfordshire's County Councillors". Hertfordshire County Council . Archived from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  18. 1 2 "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey . Retrieved 25 September 2021.

51°38′19.28″N0°28′9.46″W / 51.6386889°N 0.4692944°W / 51.6386889; -0.4692944

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