Borough of Halton

Last updated

Coordinates: 53°20′42″N2°43′19″W / 53.345°N 2.722°W / 53.345; -2.722


Runcorn Bridge - - 1701094.jpg
Latin: Industria Navem Implet
(Industry fills the ship)
Halton UK locator map.svg
Halton shown within Cheshire
Sovereign state Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Constituent country Flag of England.svg  England
Region North West England
City region Liverpool
Ceremonial county Flag of Cheshire.svg  Cheshire
Settled10th century
Incorporated1974 (borough)
 1998 (Unitary authority)
Town Hall Runcorn
Administrative HQ Widnes
  Type Unitary authority
  Body Halton Borough Council
   Leadership Leader and cabinet
   Executive Labour
  LeaderRob Polhill
   Mayor Margaret Horabin
  Chief ExecutiveDavid Parr
   Borough 30.53 sq mi (79.08 km2)
Area rank 237th
 (mid-2019 est.) [2]
   Borough 129,410
  Rank 178th
  Density4,210/sq mi (1,624/km2)
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode area
Dialling code 0151 Widnes and Hale Village, 01928 Runcorn, 01925 Daresbury
ISO 3166 code GB-HAL
GSS codeE06000006
NUTS 3 code UKD71
ONS code 00ET
Motorways M56
Major railway stations Runcorn (C1)
MPs Derek Twigg (L)
Mike Amesbury (L)
Police area Cheshire
Fire service Cheshire
Ambulance service North West
Halton from the air showing the two bridges Runcorn bridges aerial.jpg
Halton from the air showing the two bridges

Halton is a local government district in the ceremonial county of Cheshire in North West England, with borough status and administered by a unitary authority. It was created in 1974 as a district of the non-metropolitan county of Cheshire, and became a unitary authority area on 1 April 1998 under Halton Borough Council. [3] Since 2014 it has been a member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The borough consists of the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and the civil parishes of Hale, Daresbury, Moore, Preston Brook, Halebank and Sandymoor. [4] The district borders Merseyside, Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester. The borough straddles the River Mersey – the area to the north (including Widnes) is historically part of Lancashire, that to the south (including Runcorn) part of Cheshire.


Although Halton dates back to the 12th century (and beyond) when land on both sides of the river belonged to the Barony of Halton, the origin of the District Council was the outcome of the local government commission's suggested reforms of England, in 1969, the Redcliffe-Maud Report. This proposed to create metropolitan counties constituted of metropolitan district councils in the most urbanised parts of England. The model was that of the London Boroughs and Greater London Council formed in 1965. Southern Lancashire and northern Cheshire were among these urban areas, and two new metropolitan Counties were to be formed around Liverpool (as Merseyside) and Manchester (as Greater Manchester). However, the towns of Widnes and Runcorn (and the County Borough of Warrington) which lay between these were reluctant to join either. The Commission agreed that Halton and Warrington would become districts within Cheshire, as they would be detached from Lancashire by the two new metropolitan counties controlling the territory to the north.

The district was formally established on 1 April 1974 from Runcorn urban district and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and the borough of Widnes and the parish of Hale from the Whiston Rural District in Lancashire. On 1 April 1998 Halton became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy.

On 1 April 2014 Halton became part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, joining the local authorities of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, the five metropolitan district councils which constitute the county of Merseyside. This effectively reverses the position adopted in the 1970s which created it as an anomaly. As a unitary authority its status is similar to the metropolitan district councils. [5]


Population growth

The population of Halton is 129,410 (mid-2019 est.). [2] The change in population during the 20th century is shown in the following table.

Population growth in the Borough of Halton since 1901 [6]
YearPopulationChange as %


In the 2011 census, Christianity was the main religion in Halton at 75%, well above the national average for England of 59.4%. 18.7% stated that they had "no religion". Those stating their religions as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islam or Sikh amounted to 0.8%. [7]


In the 2011 census, 97.8% of Halton residents identified as White and 2% were Non-White. From the 2011 School Census, the main first language apart from English was Polish. [7]


Halton Borough Council is a unitary authority responsible for most local government functions within the area. The Labour Party has controlled the council since it was created in 1974. [8]

On 1 April 2014, Halton became one of the six constituent local government districts of the Liverpool City Region under the Combined Authority. [9]

Most of the borough is represented in the House of Commons by the member for Halton but Runcorn New Town is in the Weaver Vale constituency.


Halton is an industrial and logistics hub with a higher proportion of people working in manufacturing (particularly chemicals and advanced manufacturing), wholesale and retail, and transport and storage compared to the average for England. [7]

Employment by industry in 2011 [7]
IndustryHalton %England %Difference
C Manufacturing12.5%8.8%3.7
G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles18.7%15.9%2.8
H Transport and storage6.9%5.0%1.9
E Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities1.6%0.7%0.9
O Public administration and defence; compulsory social security6.5%5.9%0.6
N Administrative and support service activities5.3%4.9%0.4
D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply0.8%0.6%0.2
B Mining and quarrying0.2%0.2%0.0
J Information and communication3.9%4.1%-0.2
F Construction7.4%7.7%-0.3
L Real estate activities1.2%1.5%-0.3
Q Human health and social work activities12.0%12.4%-0.4
A Agriculture, forestry and fishing0.2%0.8%-0.6
I Accommodation and food service activities4.6%5.6%-1.0
R, S, T, U Other3.8%5.0%-1.2
K Financial and insurance activities2.4%4.4%-2.0
M Professional, scientific and technical activities4.5%6.7%-2.2
P Education7.7%9.9%-2.2

The wages of employees in Halton are slightly higher than the average for England and significantly higher than the average for the North West and the Liverpool City Region. [10] Business survival rates are also significantly higher than both the regional and national averages. [10]

Twin boroughs

Halton is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

Cheshire County of England

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south, and Flintshire and Wrexham County Borough in Wales to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Winsford (32,610) and Northwich (19,924).

Metropolitan county Type of county-level administrative division of England

The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, with populations between 1 and 3 million. They were created in 1974 and are each divided into several metropolitan districts or boroughs.

Merseyside County of England

Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and the city of Liverpool. Merseyside, which was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, takes its name from the River Mersey.

Runcorn Town in England

Runcorn is an industrial town and cargo port in the Borough of Halton in Cheshire, England. Its population in 2011 was 61,789. The town is in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region on the southern bank of the River Mersey where the estuary narrows to form the Runcorn Gap. To the north across the River Mersey is Widnes, with Warrington 7 miles (11 km) to the northeast and Liverpool 11 miles (18 km) to the northwest.

Metropolitan Borough of St Helens Metropolitan borough in England

The Metropolitan Borough of St Helens is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It is named after its largest town St Helens, and covers an area which includes the settlements of Earlestown, Rainhill, Eccleston, Clock Face, Haydock, Billinge, Rainford and Newton-le-Willows.

Redcliffe-Maud Report

The Redcliffe-Maud Report was published by the Royal Commission on Local Government in England 1966–1969 under the chairmanship of Lord Redcliffe-Maud.

Merseytravel is the Passenger transport executive and Strategic Transport Advisor for the Liverpool City Region. Responsible for the coordination of public transport in Merseyside, North West England. Merseytravel was established on 1 December 1969 as the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive. From 1 April 2014 Merseytravel expanded its area of operation from the metropolitan county of Merseyside to also include the Borough of Halton.

Whiston Rural District was a rural district of the administrative county of Lancashire, England. It was created in 1895 by renaming the Prescot Rural District when the parish of Prescot was removed from that rural district and created a separate urban district. Later the parish of Speke was incorporated into the City of Liverpool and Ditton into the Municipal Borough of Widnes. In 1922 the parish of Kirkby was added from the disbanded Sefton Rural District and removed again in 1958 when it was created a separate urban district. It was named after and administered from Whiston. In 1934 and 1954 parts of Windle and Eccleston were removed and placed in St Helens CB

Cronton Village in England

Cronton is a village and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, in England. The village is surrounded by green belt land. Over the county border in Cheshire, Widnes town centre is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) to the south-southeast.

Liverpool City Region Economic and political area of England centred on the city of Liverpool

The Liverpool City Region is an economic and political area of England centred on Liverpool, which also incorporates the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral. Other, wider, definitions of the city region also exist, in some cases extending into Wales. Depending on the definition used, the region's population is between about 1.5 million and 2.3 million.

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and were also the counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies. Later changes in legislation during the 1980s and 1990s have allowed counties without county councils and 'unitary authority' counties of a single district. Counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies are now defined separately, based on the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.

Runcorn Railway Bridge bridge in United Kingdom

The Runcorn Railway Bridge, Ethelfleda Bridge or Britannia Bridge crosses the River Mersey at Runcorn Gap between Runcorn and Widnes in Cheshire, England. It is alongside the Silver Jubilee Bridge. The bridge is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a Grade II* Listed building.

Hale, Halton Human settlement in England

Hale is a village and civil parish in the Halton unitary authority of Cheshire, England. According to the 2001 Census it had a population of 1,898. The village is north of the River Mersey, and just to the east of the boundary with Merseyside. It is 2½ miles east of Speke in Liverpool, and 4 miles south-west of Widnes. The nearby village of Halebank is to the north-east.

Halton Transport Municipal bus operator in Northwest England

Halton Transport was a bus operator running within the Borough of Halton and into the surrounding area, including Warrington, St Helens, Prescot, Whiston, Huyton, and Liverpool. It ceased trading in January 2020.

Local Government Act 1958 United Kingdom legislation

The Local Government Act 1958 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom affecting local government in England and Wales outside London. Among its provisions it included the establishment of Local Government Commissions to review the areas and functions of local authorities, and introduced new procedures for carrying these into action.

Halton is a unitary authority in Cheshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

Widnes Town in North West England

Widnes is an industrial town in Cheshire, England, which in 2011 had a population of 61,464.

Listed buildings in Widnes Wikimedia list article

Widnes is an industrial town in the Borough of Halton, Cheshire, England, on the north bank of the River Mersey where it narrows at Runcorn Gap. The town contains 23 buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England as designated listed buildings. Of these, 5 are classified at Grade II*, and 18 at Grade II; Widnes has no Grade I listed buildings. In the United Kingdom, the term "listed building" refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical, or cultural significance. Listed buildings are categorised in three grades: Grade I consists of buildings of outstanding architectural or historical interest; Grade II* includes particularly significant buildings of more than local interest; Grade II consists of buildings of special architectural or historical interest. Buildings in England are listed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on recommendations provided by English Heritage, which also determines the grading.

Halton Borough Council

Halton Borough Council is the local authority for the Borough of Halton, incorporating the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and the parishes of Daresbury, Hale, Moore and Preston Brook. It is a constituent council of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The 2008 Halton Borough Council election took place on 1 May 2008 to elect members of Halton Unitary Council in Cheshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party stayed in overall control of the council.


  1. "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  3. "Unitary Authority". Halton Borough Council. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  4. "Parish Councils". Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  5. Clay, Oliver, Halton to become part of Liverpool city region, Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News, archived from the original on 27 July 2011, retrieved 15 January 2009
  6. "Halton UA through time - Population Statistics". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "2011 Census Halton key statistics profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  8. "Halton". BBC News Online . 19 April 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  9. "Proposal to establish a combined authority for Greater Merseyside" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Halton Borough Profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 19 July 2018.