Borough of Halton

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The Silver Jubilee Bridge at dusk
Latin: Industria Navem Implet
("Industry fills the ship")
Halton shown within Cheshire
Halton shown within Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°20′42″N 02°44′19″W / 53.34500°N 2.73861°W / 53.34500; -2.73861Coordinates: 53°20′42″N 02°44′19″W / 53.34500°N 2.73861°W / 53.34500; -2.73861
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionNorth West England
City regionLiverpool
Ceremonial county Cheshire
Settled10th century
Incorporated1974 (borough)
 1998 (Unitary authority)
Town HallRuncorn
Administrative HQWidnes
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyHalton Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLabour
 • LeaderMike Wharton
 • MayorMark Dennett
 • Chief ExecutiveStephen Young
 • Borough30.53 sq mi (79.08 km2)
 • Rank237th
 (mid-2019 est.)[2]
 • Borough129,410
 • Rank178th
 • Density4,210/sq mi (1,624/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode area
Dialling code0151 Widnes and Hale Village, 01928 Runcorn, 01925 Daresbury
ISO 3166 codeGB-HAL
GSS codeE06000006
NUTS 3 codeUKD71
ONS code00ET
Major railway stationsRuncorn (C1)
MPsDerek Twigg (L)
Mike Amesbury (L)
Police areaCheshire
Fire serviceCheshire
Ambulance serviceNorth West
Halton from the air showing the two road bridges

Halton (pronounced HOL-tən) is a unitary authority district with borough status in Cheshire, North West England. 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 Daresbury, Hale, Halebank, Moore, Preston Brook, and Sandymoor.[4] The district borders Merseyside, the Borough of Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester.


Prior to 1974, the River Mersey marked the border between the counties of Lancashire to the north and Cheshire to the south. Widnes was administered by the Municipal Borough of Widnes in Lancashire, and Runcorn by Runcorn Urban District Council in Cheshire.

The 1969 Redcliffe-Maud Report recommended reforms to local government in England, including the abolition of all existing local government areas. They were to be replaced by mostly unitary authorities with the exception of three two-tier metropolitan areas to be called Merseyside, SELNEC and West Midlands. Runcorn and Widnes would form part of the new Merseyside Metropolitan Area under a district called 'St Helens-Widnes'.[5]

The proposals were broadly accepted by the then Labour government but set aside by the incoming Conservative government following the 1970 general election which it had fought on a manifesto pledge to introduce a system of two-tier local government.[6] The Local Government Act 1972 created new metropolitan counties around Liverpool (as Merseyside) and Manchester (as Greater Manchester) but Runcorn and Widnes would not be allocated to either. Instead, Widnes and Warrington would be moved into the non-metropolitan county of Cheshire, with Widnes joining Runcorn to create the new non-metropolitan district of Halton. The name of the new district was inspired by the ancient Barony of Halton which had possessed land on both sides of the river. The district was established on 1 April 1974. In addition to Runcorn Urban District and the Municipal Borough of Widnes, parts of Runcorn Rural District and the parish of Hale from Whiston Rural District were incorporated into Halton.

On 1 April 1998, Halton became a unitary authority, independent of Cheshire County Council. However, it continues to be served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes. 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. As a unitary authority, Halton's status is similar to the metropolitan district councils.[7]


Population growth[edit]

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[8]
Year Population Change as %
1901 57,755
1911 57,062 -1.2%
1921 61,039 +7.0%
1931 65,309 +7.0%
1941 71,835 +10.0%
1951 79,026 +10.0%
1961 87,168 +10.3%
1971 96,150 +10.3%
1981 121,861 +26.7%
1991 124,915 +2.5%
2001 118,215 -5.4%
2011 125,700 +6.3%


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%.[9]


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.[9]


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.[10]

On 1 April 2014, Halton became one of the six constituent local government districts of the Liverpool City Region under the Combined Authority.[11]

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.


Chemical works at Weston Point

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.[9]

Employees by industry in 2019[12]
Industry Halton (Employee Jobs) Halton (%) North West (%) Great Britain (%) Halton - Great Britain Difference
H Transportation And Storage 7,000 10.8 5.6 4.9 5.9
C Manufacturing 8,000 12.3 9.3 8.0 4.3
G Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles 11,000 16.9 16.3 15.0 1.9
N Administrative And Support Service Activities 7,000 10.8 8.6 8.9 1.9
Q Human Health And Social Work Activities 9,000 13.8 14.2 13.1 0.7
E Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management And Remediation Activities 800 1.2 0.7 0.7 0.5
M Professional, Scientific And Technical Activities 6,000 9.2 8.8 8.8 0.4
S Other Service Activities 1,500 2.3 1.9 2.0 0.3
B Mining And Quarrying 300 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.3
F Construction 3,000 4.6 4.6 4.9 -0.3
D Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply 75 0.1 0.5 0.4 -0.3
L Real Estate Activities 600 0.9 1.5 1.7 -0.8
R Arts, Entertainment And Recreation 1,000 1.5 2.6 2.5 -1.0
O Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security 2,000 3.1 4.6 4.4 -1.3
J Information And Communication 1,500 2.3 2.8 4.3 -2.0
K Financial And Insurance Activities 600 0.9 2.8 3.5 -2.6
I Accommodation And Food Service Activities 3,000 4.6 6.9 7.7 -3.1
P Education 3,500 5.4 8.0 8.7 -3.3

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.[13] Business survival rates are also significantly higher than both the regional and national averages.[13] In 2018, the GVA per head of population in Halton was £26,988 compared to a regional average of £22,244 in North West England.[14]

Twin boroughs[edit]

Halton is twinned with:

Following an appeal in 1997, Halton residents donated 1,000 English books to Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.[15] In 1999, an historic Halton Transport bus was restored and gifted to the Czech Republic to mark the centenary of public transport in the city.[16] Engineers from Halton have assisted with chemical decontamination in the city and also when the city flooded in 2002.[17]

The first crazy golf course in Berlin, created in Marzahn-Hellersdorf in 2005, contains several Halton landmarks and was constructed with the assistance of exchange students from the borough.[18]

Several roads are named after Halton's twin boroughs, including Leiria Way in Runcorn and Marzahn Way in Widnes.[19] A Chinese friendship garden was created in the grounds of Runcorn Town Hall in 2006, including a bronze statue gifted by the twin city of Tongling.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  5. ^ Wood, Bruce (1976). The process of local government reform 1966–74. London: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-04-350052-8.
  6. ^ "1970 Conservative Party Manifesto". Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ "Halton UA through time - Population Statistics". University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "2011 Census Halton key statistics profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Halton". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Proposal to establish a combined authority for Greater Merseyside" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. November 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Labour Market Profile - Halton". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Halton Borough Profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Economic Assessment and Halton 2030" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. 24 September 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 July 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Thanks to Halton". Warrington Guardian. Newsquest Media Group Ltd. 8 April 1997. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Halton - Ústí nad Labem City Hall". Ústí nad Labem City Council. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Forgiving but not forgetting Czechs' war". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 19 May 2005. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Golf course putts Halton on the map". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 25 August 2005. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Going Deutsche". Warrington Guardian. Newsquest Media Group Ltd. 21 July 2004. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Friendship garden is full of Eastern promise". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2020.