Local governance of Surbiton began in 1855 when the Surbiton Improvement Commissioners were established.
The Surbiton Improvement Commissioners were established after the Surbiton locals become disenchanted by Kingston’s governance, or lack of, of Surbiton and its services. The commissioners became responsible for paving, drainage, cleaning, lighting and the general improvement of the District of St Mark’s, Surbiton. At this time the population stood at around 4,000 people. Charles Walpole, Chairman of the Surbiton Improvement Commissioners' Board, lived at Mona Lodge in Oakhill until 1874.
The Commissioners ceased to function in 1894, when the Surbiton Urban District Council was formed.