Wiltshire Council

Last updated

Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Council logo.svg
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 2009 [lower-alpha 1]
Preceded by Wiltshire County Council
Leadership
Chair of the Council
Cllr James Sheppard, Conservative
since 21 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Philip Whitehead, Conservative
since 9 July 2019
Structure
Seats98 councillors
Wiltshire Council composition.svg
Political groups
Administration
     Conservative Party (63)
Other parties
     Liberal Democrats (21)
     Independent (10)
     Labour Party (3)
Vacant (1)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
6 May 2021
Meeting place
WiltshireCouncilTrowbridge.jpg
County Hall, Trowbridge
Website
wiltshire.gov.uk OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Wiltshire Council is a council for the unitary authority of Wiltshire (excluding the separate UA of Swindon) in South West England, created in 2009. It is the successor authority to Wiltshire County Council (1889–2009) and the four district councils of Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire, all of which were created in 1974 and abolished in 2009.

Contents

Establishment of the unitary authority

The ceremonial county of Wiltshire consists of two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, administered respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council. Before 2009, Wiltshire was administered as a non-metropolitan county by Wiltshire County Council, with four districts, Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire. Swindon, in the north of the county, had been a separate unitary authority since 1997, and on 5 December 2007 the Government announced that the rest of Wiltshire would move to unitary status. This was later put into effect by a statutory instrument as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England.

With the abolition of the District of Salisbury, a new Salisbury City Council was created at the same time to carry out several citywide functions and to hold the City's charter.

Functions

The unitary authority provides local government services to 435,000 Wiltshire residents and is also the biggest employer in Wiltshire, being responsible for schools, social services, rubbish collection and disposal, county roads, planning, and leisure services.

Most executive decisions are taken by the authority's cabinet, each member of which has a particular area of responsibility. Development control is undertaken by five planning committees, the powers of which cannot be exercised by the cabinet. Members of the authority are appointed to a wide range of outside bodies, providing them with some element of democratic accountability, such as the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, the Wiltshire Victoria County History, and the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust.

Political balance

As a result of the first elections to the new authority, plus two by-elections held in September 2009 and December 2010, an Independent joining UKIP while remaining in the Independent group, [1] a defection in May 2012 by a Liberal Democrat councillor to the Conservatives, [2] and in November 2012 by another Lib Dem and a Conservative to the Independents, [3] by the beginning of 2013 Wiltshire Council consisted of 61 Conservatives, 22 Liberal Democrats, ten Independents including one UKIP member, three Devizes Guardians, and two Labour members.

The elections of 2013 produced an unexpected swing to the Liberal Democrats, who made a net gain of five seats, while all three Devizes Guardians lost their seats to the Conservatives and the Labour group increased from two to four. The overall result was 58 Conservatives, 27 Liberals, eight Independents, four Labour, and one UKIP member. [4] However, during the following year four Liberal Democrats defected from their political group: one to the Conservatives and three to the Independents. In a by-election in May 2015 at Chippenham Hardenhuish the Conservatives gained a seat from the Liberal Democrats, and in November they gained another at Salisbury St Edmund, then at a by-election in May 2016 the Liberal Democrats gained Amesbury East from the Conservatives.

The 2017 election resulted in the Conservatives increasing their share of seats at the expense of the Liberal Democrats, Independents, Labour and UKIP.

Political groupCouncillors
2009 2013 2017 Current [5]
Conservative 62586863
Liberal Democrat 24272021
Independent 78710
Labour 2433
Devizes Guardians 3000
UK Independence Party 0100
Total98989897

County Hall

Wiltshire Council operates from the same Trowbridge base as the old Wiltshire County Council. In 2012 the County Hall building was renovated and developed at a cost of about £24 million. The remodelled New County Hall includes benefits services and housing advice, the Trowbridge library, the town's Register Office, and a cafe. [6] [7] [8]

See also

Notes

  1. County council gained unitary authority functions.

Related Research Articles

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge. Within the county's boundary are two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, governed respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council.

West Wiltshire

West Wiltshire was a local government district in Wiltshire, England, formed on 1 April 1974, further to the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the former urban districts of Bradford-on-Avon, Melksham, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury, along with Bradford and Melksham Rural District and the Warminster and Westbury Rural District.

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The city of Bristol, England, is a unitary authority, represented by four MPs representing seats wholly within the city boundaries. As well as these, Filton and Bradley Stoke covers the northern urban fringe in South Gloucestershire and the north eastern urban fringe is in the Kingswood constituency. The overall trend of both local and national representation became left of centre during the latter 20th century, but there was a shift to the right in the 2010 general election. The city has a tradition of local activism, with environmental issues and sustainable transport being prominent issues in the city.

Elections to Wiltshire County Council were held on 6 May 1993. The whole council was up for election and the result was no overall control, with the Liberal Democrats as the largest party. This resulted in a no-party-control shared administration for the first year of the Council, with the three main party groups being briefed on a coequal basis. Following a by-election gain by the Liberal Democrats from the Conservatives, giving the Liberal Democrats exactly half the seats on the Council, a Liberal Democrat administration was formed, but with a convention that committee chairpersons would not use their casting vote to force through policies.

2009 Wiltshire Council election

Elections to Wiltshire Council, a new unitary authority, were held on 4 June 2009.

The Devizes Guardians are a local political party based in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. The party was formed in 2001 and has been successful in winning seats on Kennet District Council and Wiltshire Council, but at present is represented only on Devizes Town Council, which from May 2013 it controls.

Nigel Denys Carter CEnv FEI MIEMA is an English Chartered Environmentalist, politician, leader of the Devizes Guardians party since 2002, and a member of Devizes Town Council. He has also served as a Kennet District Councillor and was a Wiltshire Councillor from 2009 to 2013. His first career was as a naval officer.

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2006 Swindon Borough Council election

The 2006 Swindon Borough Council election took place on 4 May 2006 to elect members of Swindon Unitary Council in Wiltshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2010 Swindon Borough Council election

The 2010 Swindon Borough Council election took place on 6 May 2010 to elect members of Swindon Unitary Council in Wiltshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2012 North East Lincolnshire Council election

The 2012 North East Lincolnshire Council election took place on 3 May 2012 to elect members of North East Lincolnshire Council in England. This was on the same day as other 2012 United Kingdom local elections.

2013 United Kingdom local elections

The 2013 United Kingdom local elections took place on Thursday 2 May 2013. Elections were held in 35 English councils: all 27 non-metropolitan county councils and eight unitary authorities, and in one Welsh unitary authority. Direct mayoral elections took place in Doncaster and North Tyneside. These elections last took place on the 4 June 2009 at the same time as the 2009 European Parliament Elections, except for County Durham, Northumberland and the Anglesey where elections last took place in 2008.

2013 Wiltshire Council election

Elections to the Wiltshire Council unitary authority took place on 2 May 2013. All ninety-eight seats were up for election, with each councillor being elected in a single-member electoral division, although in six of the divisions only one candidate was nominated and was thus declared the winner without elections taking place.

2013 Hampshire County Council election

An election to Hampshire County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. 78 councillors were elected from 75 electoral divisions, which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The electoral divisions were the same as those of the previous election in 2009. No elections were held in Portsmouth and Southampton, which are unitary authorities outside the area covered by the County Council. The election saw the Conservative Party retain overall control of the council, with a reduced majority of five councillors.

2013 Essex County Council election

An election to Essex County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. 75 councillors were elected from 70 electoral divisions, which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The electoral divisions were the same as those used at the previous election in 2009. No elections were held in Thurrock or Southend-on-Sea, which are unitary authorities outside the area covered by the County Council.

2013 Staffordshire County Council election

An election to Staffordshire County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. 62 electoral divisions returned one county councillor each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. Following a boundary review, new electoral division boundaries were established for this election. No elections were held in Stoke-on-Trent, which is a unitary authority outside the area covered by the County Council. The council continues to be administered on the Leader and Cabinet model.

Wiltshire County Council elections were first held on 23 January 1889, with the election of the first Wiltshire County Council. Thereafter, elections were held every three years, with all members being elected on the same day. Later, the cycle was changed to one election in every four years, and the last such election was in 2005. There were also occasional by-elections, the last of which took place in February 2008.

References

  1. Explanation by Cllr Cuthbert Murray at westburytownforums.co.uk that he is both a UKIP member and an Independent
  2. "Wiltshire councillor joins Conservatives". ConservativeHome. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  3. Gerald Isaaman, Councillor Peggy Dow quits the Lib-Dems as they suffer election humiliation at the polls (marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk)
  4. Election results at Wiltshire Council website
  5. "Your Councillors". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  6. "Wiltshire Council's £22 million HQ is officially opened". Wiltshire Times. 1 November 2012.
  7. "Peek at £24m Wiltshire County Hall revamp (From Wiltshire Times)". Wiltshiretimes.co.uk. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  8. "Trowbridge County Hall Redevelopment – Integral". Integral-engineering.co.uk. Retrieved 30 September 2013.

Coordinates: 51°19′01″N2°12′36″W / 51.317°N 2.210°W / 51.317; -2.210