Metropolitan Borough of St Helens

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Coordinates: 53°27′14″N 2°44′46″W / 53.454°N 2.746°W / 53.454; -2.746

Borough of St Helens
Metropolitan borough
St Helens Town Hall, the seat of the Borough Council
St Helens Town Hall, the seat of the Borough Council
Official logo of Borough of St Helens
Coat Of Arms of the Borough Council
Motto: Prosperitas In Excelsis
St Helens shown within Merseyside and England
St Helens shown within Merseyside and England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Merseyside
Admin HQ St Helens (Town Hall)
Founded 1 April 1974
 • Type Metropolitan borough
 • Governing body St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
 • Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive: Labour
 • Leader of the Council Cllr Barrie Grunewald (Lab)
 • MPs: David Watts (Lab),
Shaun Woodward (Lab)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total 175,400 (Ranked 98th)
 • Ethnicity 98.8% White
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
Postcodes WA, WN & L
Area code(s) 01744 / 01942 / 01925 / 0151

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 Newton-le-Willows, Earlestown, Haydock, Rainhill, Eccleston, Clock Face, Billinge and Rainford.

The Metropolitan Borough Council is made up of 48 councillors, with three representing each of the 16 wards of the borough.[1]


The Metropolitan Borough was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the former County Borough of St Helens, along with the urban districts of Haydock, Newton-le-Willows and Rainford, and parts of Billinge-and-Winstanley and Ashton-in-Makerfield urban districts, along with part of Whiston Rural District, all from the administrative county of Lancashire.

Between 1974 and 1986 the borough council shared functions with Merseyside County Council. The functions of this body were in part devolved to the boroughs and in part transferred to ad hoc agencies.


On 17 May 2006, following local elections held on 4 May, the political control of the Council changed from the Labour Party to a coalition formed by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party. Labour had been in power since 1 April 1974 following the first elections to the shadow council in 1973.

After local elections in 2008 St Helens was a hung council with no party having overall control, as a result The Liberal Democrats and the Conservative coalition continued their governance of the council. Labour were the largest party represented followed by the Liberal Democrats and then the Conservatives.

Year Labour Liberal Democrats Conservatives
2008 23 19 6

After local elections in 2010 the Labour Party retook overall control of St Helens council with a majority of 8 after increasing its tally by 5 at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. This brought to an end the Lib/Con coalition which had governed the council since 2006. Labour continue to be the largest party represented followed by the Liberal Democrats and then the Conservatives.

Year Labour Liberal Democrats Conservatives
2010 28 15 5

Following the United Kingdom local elections, 2011, in which one third of the seats in St Helens Council were up for election, Labour increased their majority by 7, as a result of the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote, with them losing all but one of the seats they were defending while the Conservatives also lost one seat to Labour.

Year Labour Liberal Democrats Conservatives
2011 35 9 4

Following the 2012 local elections, Labour further increased its majority on 2011 with another 5 seats awarded to them. The Liberal Democrats lost 4 seats, and the Conservative Party 1. On the night of the results, there was a scuffle between Liberal Democrat Cllr Brian Spencer who had lost his seat, and Labour candidate Mark Johnson, in which police had to break up the fight and made following investigations into an assault on Mark Johnson.[2][3]

Year Labour Liberal Democrats Conservatives
2012 40 5 3

Parliamentary constituencies[edit]


'Billinge Lump' is the highest point in St Helens and Merseyside

The borough borders the borough of Knowsley, within Merseyside, in the south-west, the Lancashire district of West Lancashire in the north, the Greater Manchester Borough of Wigan in the north-east, and to the south the boroughs of Warrington and Halton in Cheshire.

The St Helens Borough covers roughly 30 km² over an area of soft rolling hills used primarily for agricultural purposes, mainly arable. The highest point in the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, and the whole of Merseyside, is Billinge Hill, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north from St.Helens centre. The borough is landlocked with a stream running through, Mill Brook/Windle Brook running through Eccleston and connecting with the (disused) St. Helens Branch/Section of the Sankey Canal in the town centre. The centre of St Helens is around 160 feet (50 m) above sea level.

From the top of Billinge Hill the cities of Manchester and Liverpool are visible on a clear day as well as the towns of, Bolton and Warrington.

Carr Mill Dam is Merseyside's largest body of inland water, offering picturesque lakeside trails and walks as well as national competitive powerboating and angling events.

The Burgies are two tailings on the site of the old Rushy Park coal mine. They were created by the dumping of toxic chemical waste from the manufacture of glass, they have since been covered with tall grass and woodland.


St Helens Population using 2001 Data, 2008 Wards
2001 UK Census Population Households
Billinge and Seneley Green 12,717 4985
Blackbrook 9,128 3,604
Bold 9,040 3,586
Earlestown 10,274 4,420
Eccleston 10,528 4,218
Haydock 11,962 4,817
Moss Bank 10,276 4,337
Newton 11,144 4,506
Parr 12,082 3,541
Rainford 8344 3,484
Rainhill 11,913 4,762
Sutton 12,622 5,075
Thatto Heath 9,393 3,852
Town Centre 10,795 4,958
West Park 11,558 4,947
Windle 8,621 3,607
Total 176,843 72,697


Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of Arms of St Helens Council
Coat of arms of St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council.png
Armiger College of Heralds
Adopted 1974
Crest A rams head with fleur-de-lys mounted on a helmet, representing Lord Newton
Escutcheon Quarterly: 1 red saltire representing Ashton and Seneley Green, 2 Black griffin representing Rainhill, 3 Pilkingtons Cross representing Windle], 4 Red crosslet representing Billinge summounted by the Black Cross of Haydock & Eccleston and the Blue Bars of Parr.
Supporters A golden lion and a black griffin
Motto Latin: Prosperitas In Excelsis English: "Flourishing Well"
Use On all council documents


External links[edit]