Cheshire West and Chester
|Cheshire West and Chester|
|Borough and Unitary authority|
Cheshire West and Chester shown within Cheshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||North West England|
|Established||1 April 2009|
|• Type||Unitary authority|
|• Body||Cheshire West and Chester Council|
|• Leadership||Leader & Cabinet|
|• Leader||Samantha Dixon|
|• Lord Mayor (Chester)||Hugo Deynem|
|• Chief Executive||Steve Robinson|
|• Total||353.9 sq mi (916.7 km2)|
|Population (2011 est.)|
|• Density||930/sq mi (359/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||98.5% white|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
|NUTS 3 code||UKD63|
Cheshire West and Chester is a unitary authority area with borough status, in the ceremonial county of Cheshire. It was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. It replaced the boroughs of Ellesmere Port and Neston, Vale Royal and Chester District and its council took over the function of the former Cheshire County Council within its area. The rest of ceremonial Cheshire is composed of Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton. The decision to create the Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority was announced on 25 July 2007 following a consultation period, in which a proposal to create a single Cheshire unitary authority was rejected. Chester City Council had proposed the new authority be called "The City of Chester and West Cheshire" but this was also rejected.
Politics and administration
The electoral wards for the new unitary authority were the same as those used in the former Cheshire County Council elections, with each ward electing 3 councillors. The first elections to the authority took place on 1 May 2008, with the Conservatives gaining control with a majority of 38 councillors. When first contested there were 72 elected councillors in the authority led by Councillor Mike Jones.
Due to boundary changes put into effect prior to 2011 elections, 3 additional councillor seats were created, making a total of 75 councillors in the authority. The new wards are a mixture of single member wards, two member wards and three member wards. The Conservative Party retained control with a diminished majority having won 42 seats whilst Labour won 32 seats and the Liberal Democrats won 1. It is likely that the changes in the ward boundaries favoured the opposition parties when compared with the ward boundaries used for the 2008 which were seen as favouring the Conservative party. The 2008 elections took place when the Labour party nationally was performing particularly badly..
There was a by-election in October 2011 following the death of Labour Party Leader Derek Bateman in July 2011. Cllr Lynn Clare was duly elected to represent the Ellesmere Port Town ward.
The 2015 election took place on 7 May, on the same day as other local elections and the general election. All 75 seats were being contested. As a result of the election, the council moved from Conservative control to Labour control, and was the only council to change hands in this way in the 2015 elections. In addition, the only Liberal Democrat seat on the council was lost, while an independent was elected to the Parkgate ward.
Details of the current councillors can be found using this link: http://online.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/Election2015/CouncillorAtoZ.aspx 
The District is divided into 46 wards, listed below in alphabetical order.
- Chester City
- Chester Villages
- Davenham and Moulton
- Dodleston and Huntington
- Ellesmere Port Town
- Garden Quarter
- Great Boughton
- Handbridge Park
- Hartford and Greenbank
- Ledsham and Manor
- Little Neston and Burton
- Saughall and Mollington
- St Paul's
- Tarvin and Kelsall
- Weaver and Cuddington
- Willaston and Thornton
- Winnington and Castle
- Winsford Over and Verdin
- Winsford Swanlow and Dene
- Winsford Wharton
- Witton and Rudheath
Local nature reserves
Cheshire West and Chester Council maintains six Local Nature Reserves: Burton Mill Wood (Ellesmere Port), Helsby Quarry (Vale Royal), Marshall's Arm (Vale Royal), Rivacre Valley (Ellesmere Port), Stanney Wood (Ellesmere Port) and Whitby Park (Ellesmere Port).
Chester is the hub of the railway network in the borough, with over four million trips recorded annually. Railway lines in the borough - not necessarily connecting to Chester - include:
- Borderlands Line: Connects Bidston in Wirral with Wrexham in Wales and includes a stop at Neston. Services are provided by Arriva Trains Wales.
- Chester-Manchester Line: Includes stops at Helsby and Frodsham and is operated by Arriva Trains Wales.
- Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line: Includes stops at Stanlow & Thornton and Ince & Elton before meeting the Chester-Manchester Line near Helsby and is operated by Northern Rail.
- Mid-Cheshire Line: Leaves the Chester-Manchester Line near Mickle Trafford and includes stops at Mouldsworth, Delamere, Cuddington, Greenbank, Northwich and Lostock Gralam, with services provided by Northern Rail.
- North Wales Coast Line: Originates at Crewe and passes through Chester, with services provided by Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains.
- Shrewsbury to Chester Line: The section between Wrexham and Chester is currently in the process of being reinstated as a two-track railway under the direction of the Welsh Government. Services are provided by Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains.
- West Coast Main Line: Aside from stops at Winsford, Hartford and Acton Bridge, the branch line to Liverpool diverges at Weaver Junction - the oldest of its type in Great Britain.
Motorways and trunk roads in the borough which are maintained by Highways England include the M6, M53, M56, A55, A483, A494, A550 and a short section of the A41 in Hooton. Other primary routes maintained by the council include the A41, A49, A51, A54, A56, A483, A530, A533, A534, A556, A5115, A5116, A5117 and A5268.
- Vale Royal Borough Council – Minister's announcement is welcomed
- Chester City Council – Two new councils for Cheshire
- Cheshire West and Chester Council Shadow Authority
- Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008
- BBC News, 25 July 2007 – County split into two authorities. Retrieval Date: 25 July 2007.
- Chester City Council proposals. Retrieval date: 3 July 2010.
- "People and Places" proposed electoral wards. Retrieval Date: 9 August 2007.
- Proposals for new City of Chester and West Cheshire Local Authority. Chester District website. Retrieval Date: 25 October 2007.
- Cheshire West and Chester election Results, 2 May 2008
- Cheshire West and Chester 2011 Election Results 5 May 2011
- "Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester Council". Northwich Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- [A-Z of Elected Councillors] Cheshire West and Chester District Council, Accessed 25 May 2015
- Cheshire West and Chester 2011 Elections: Result by Ward 5 May 2011
- Cheshire West and Chester Member Index: Your Councillors by Ward 6 May 2011
- "Statutory Sites". Cheshire West and Chester council. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Cheshire West and Chester Council website
- Webcasts – Cheshire West and Chester Council meetings
- Cheshire West and Chester Council's videos