Essex County Council
|Essex County Council|
|East of England Local Government Association|
|First past the post|
|County Hall, Chelmsford|
Essex County Council is the county council that governs the non-metropolitan county of Essex in England. It has 75 councillors, elected from 70 divisions, and is currently controlled by the Conservative Party. The council meets at County Hall in the centre of Chelmsford. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.
Area and responsibilities
At the time of the 2011 census it served a population of 1,393,600, which makes it one of the largest local authorities in England. As a non-metropolitan county council, responsibilities are shared between districts (including boroughs) and in many areas also between civil parish (including town) councils. Births, marriages/civil partnerships and death registration, roads, libraries and archives, refuse disposal, most of state education, of social services and of transport are provided at the county level.
The county council was formed in 1889, governing the administrative county of Essex. West Ham, otherwise part of Essex at the time, was a county borough and therefore outside the area of responsibility for the county council. Southend-on-Sea (1914) and East Ham (1915) were also removed. In 1965 Barking, Chingford, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Ilford, Leyton, Romford, Walthamstow, and 'Wanstead and Woodford' were transferred to Greater London. The county council was reconstituted in 1974 as a non-metropolitan county council, regaining jurisdiction in Southend-on-Sea, however the non-metropolitan county was reduced in size in 1998 and the council passed responsibilities to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council in those districts. For certain services the three authorities co-operate through joint arrangements, such as the Essex fire authority.
As of 30 December 2014, the composition of the council is as follows:
|Canvey Island Independent Party||1|
|Independent Loughton Residents Association||1|
|Party or group in control||Years|
|Conservative||1973 - 1985|
|No overall control||1985 - 1989|
|Conservative||1989 - 1993|
|No overall control||1993 - 1997|
- Sir Sydney Walter Robinson (1876–1950), briefly Liberal member of parliament for Chelmsford
- Beryl Platt, Baroness Platt of Writtle, Chairman 1971–1980
- Robert Dixon-Smith, Baron Dixon-Smith, Chairman 1986–1989
- Paul White, Baron Hanningfield, Chairman 1989–1992, Leader 2001–2010
- Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, member 1989–1993, later member of parliament for Basildon and a peer since 2010