Bournemouth Borough Council

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Bournemouth Borough Council
Cllr Derek Borthwick, Conservative
since 25 May 2018
Leader of the Council
Cllr John Beesley, Conservative
since 21 February 2012
Seats54 councillors
Bournemouth Borough Council composition
Political groups
     Conservative (51)
Other parties
     Green (1)
     Independent (2)
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
7 May 2015
Meeting place
Town Hall at Bournemouth
Town Hall, Bournemouth

Bournemouth Borough Council is the local authority of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. The council is now a unitary authority, although between 1974 and 1997 it was an administrative district council with Dorset. Previously most of the borough was part of Hampshire.[1]

The Borough can trace its history back to 27 August 1890 when the Municipal Borough of Bournemouth was created by Royal Charter. On 1 April 1900 it received County Borough status which lasted until 1974.[1]

In February 2018 the 'Future Dorset' plan was approved by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid, which means that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole borough councils will be merged into one singular unitary authority in April 2019.[2]

Government and politics[edit]

The borough is administered by Bournemouth Borough Council.


The Council has 18 wards covering the borough.


The Council consists of 54 elected members, 3 from each of the 18 wards. Prior to 2003 there were 19 wards (57 members). Elections take place every four years where all seats are contested.

The composition of the Council:

Party 1999 Election 2003 Election 2007 Election May 2010 2011 Election May 2012 2015 Election May 2017 May 2018
Conservative 25 16 41 37 45 46 51 52 51
Liberal Democrat 20 33 7 9 3 2 0 0 0
Labour 6 3 3 3 3 3 0 0 0
Independent 6 2 3 5 3 3 1 1 2
UKIP 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Green 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
Total 57 54 54 54 54 54 54 54 54

The Council will be abolished on 1 April 2019 and replaced by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.[3]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms of Bournemouth

The arms of Bournemouth were granted on 24 March 1891. The crest (above the shield) consists of four English roses surmounted by a pine tree. The motto (below the shield) is Pulchritudo et Salubritas, Latin for "beauty and health". The colours of the shield, the main part of the coat of arms, are taken from the royal arms of King Edward the Confessor, in whose royal estate the area now known as Bournemouth was situated. The four salmon represent those to be found in the River Stour, which marks the boundary between Christchurch and Bournemouth. Each of the lions holds a rose between its paws. The six birds, also taken from Edward the Confessor's arms, are martlets, heraldic birds with no legs (based on the folk belief that swallows never stopped flying and so did not need legs). The roses in the arms are emblems both of England and of Hampshire, which Bournemouth historically belonged to.


  1. ^ a b Bournemouth Borough Council. "History of the Council". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  2. ^ Dorset For You (26 February 2018). "Government approves unitary councils for Dorset" (Press release). Dorset: Dorset County Council. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  3. ^ Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". Retrieved 2018-06-06.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 50°43′N 1°53′W / 50.717°N 1.883°W / 50.717; -1.883