Gravesham 50th anniversary logo

To mark our golden anniversary, we are encouraging staff to carry out one day of volunteering this year.

We are looking for local charities and deserving causes to benefit from voluntary support.

1 April is 50 years since the Local Government Act 1972, Gravesham Borough Council was formed in 1974. This was made from merging of Gravesend Borough Council, Northfleet Urban District Council, and parts of Strood Rural District Council.

Its formation saw the end of more than 400 years of the Borough of Gravesend.

The adoption of Gravesham as the name for the new council saw an old place name mentioned in the Domesday Book resurrected. Believed to come from the Saxon Gereve or graaf, meaning reeve or sheriff, while ‘ham’ means homestead or territory.

To mark 50 years the council is encouraging staff to give one day this year to volunteering for the good of the local community.

Leader of the council, Cllr John Burden, said: “We are one of the largest employers in the Borough with between 500 and 600 employees at any one time. That’s a considerable volunteer force ready and willing to support local good causes.

“We also have professionals and skilled trades across a whole variety of disciplines who would be great mentors for local young people looking to pursue their chosen career.” 

If you are or know of a charity or deserving cause within the Borough that would benefit from volunteer support, please complete our online form or email

Cllr Burden added: “All we ask is that the work our staff carry out for you directly benefits residents or communities within Gravesham.”

Cllr Burden has been a member of the council for 37 years, and its Leader for 13 of those in three different terms.

“It’s been an honour to be a member of this council for over half of its history,” he said. “Local politics is all about doing the best we can for our residents and businesses.

“We may not always get everything right; people may not always agree with our decisions and choices, but the simple truth is that every member who has served on this council over the last 50 years has had the best interests of our community at heart.

“And it’s also worth remembering that many of our staff, many of whom have many years of service behind them, are also residents of the Borough who care passionately about delivering the best possible services they can for their family, friends and neighbours.”

It’s not just the council celebrating a significant anniversary this year. Several other Gravesham organisations are as well.

They include:

  • Pinnock’s Charities who own and manage the St Thomas’s Almshouses in Gravesend, marking a remarkable 400 years.
  • Gravesend RNLI celebrates its 200th anniversary.
  • The Elizabeth Huggins Cottages Charity. Their cottages for former military personnel and their families on Wrotham Road, Gravesend, welcomed their first residents 100 years ago.
  • Gads Hill School opened 100 years ago.
  • Gravesend Historical Society also marks its 100th anniversary.

The council is working with these local organisations on a joint celebration this summer.

Cllr Lauren Sullivan, our Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure, said: “It’s a remarkable coincidence that so many of our valued Gravesham friends and partners have significant anniversaries in the one year.

“It just highlights the incredible community spirit within the Borough and the deep roots that have seen that endure over hundreds of years.

“I look forward to celebrating these tremendous achievements and supporting everyone within the Borough who works to make it a place where together, we are proud to be Gravesham”.

Published: Monday, 19th February 2024