Shown within Bedfordshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||East of England|
|Founded||1 April 2009|
|• Type||unitary authority|
|• Leadership:||Leader & Cabinet|
|• MPs:||Alistair Burt (C)
Nadine Dorries (C)
Andrew Selous (C)
|• Total||276.3 sq mi (715.7 km2)|
|Population (mid-2016 est.)|
|• Rank||Ranked 45th|
|• Density||1,000/sq mi (390/km2)|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
|ONS code||00KC (ONS)
Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created from the merger of Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire District Councils on 1 April 2009. With a budget of £500m the unitary council provides over a hundred services to a quarter of a million people, and is responsible for schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads, planning, leisure centres, libraries, care homes and more.
The county of Bedfordshire was abolished on 1 April 2009. The term of office of councillors of Bedfordshire County Council and of Mid and South Bedfordshire District Councils ended on 1 April 2009. A new county and a new district, both from that date to be known as Central Bedfordshire, were created for the same area as the existing districts of Mid and South Bedfordshire. A new district council, the Central Bedfordshire Council, was created for the new district and became the sole principal authority for the district. There was to be no county council for the new county.
In 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government considered reorganising Bedfordshire's administrative structure as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England. The four proposals considered were:
- Proposal 1, Abolish the three districts within the county and create a Bedfordshire County unitary authority. (Luton would remain a separate unitary authority.)
- Proposal 2, Create two unitary authorities: one based on Bedford Borough and one as Central Bedfordshire, combining Mid and South Bedfordshire Districts.
- Proposal 3, Create two unitary authorities: one a combination of Bedford Borough and Mid Beds District and the other of Luton Borough and South Beds District.
- Proposal 4, Form an "enhanced two-tier" authority, with the four local councils under the control of the county council, but with different responsibilities.
On 6 March 2008 the DCLG, under Labour Party Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, decided to implement Proposal 2. This meant that from 1 April 2009 there would be three unitary authorities in Bedfordshire: Bedford, Luton and Central Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire County Council challenged this decision in the High Court but on 4 April 2008 it was announced the Judicial Review had failed and the County Council would not appeal. Subsequently, a shadow council for Central Bedfordshire was formed from all the members of Mid and South Bedfordshire councils, as well as all Bedfordshire County Council members from the Central Bedfordshire area. The inaugural meeting of the shadow council was held on 10 April 2008. A shadow Executive for the council was formed consisting of four members of each council, led by the former leader of Mid Bedfordshire District Council.
Central Bedfordshire Council is made up of 59 Councillors.
Since 2011 the Council has been led by James Jamieson with a Cabinet of seven portfolio holders:
- Corporate Services (finance)
- Children's Services
- Social Care, Health and Housing
- Community Services
- External affairs
Towns and villages
The Central Bedfordshire area is a mix of rural and small market towns and villages. It includes the following towns and villages.
- Aspley Guise
- Eaton Bray
- Fairfield Park
- Heath and Reach
- Higham Gobion
- Houghton Conquest
- Houghton Regis
- Husborne Crawley
- Leighton Buzzard
- Marston Moretaine
- Old Warden
- Slip End
- Wixams (partially)
- "Welcome to Central Bedfordshire Council". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/907/note/made - The Bedfordshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008
- Bedfordshire County Council Archived 7 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine. – The proposal
- Communities and Local Government – Proposals for future unitary structures: Stakeholder consultation
- Bedfordshire County Council: High Court backs two unitary authorities for Bedfordshire Archived 16 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "County Council Fails in Legal Challenge To Unitary Status". Bedford.gov.uk. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Unitary solution confirmed for Bedfordshire – New flagship unitary councils approved for Cheshire – Corporate – Communities and Local Government Archived 22 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "County council to be abolished in shake-up". Bedford Today. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/bed-news/First-steps-towards-creating-Central.3968817.jp First steps towards creating Central Beds Council – Bedford Today (10/04/08)
- "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results by party, 4 June 2009". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Election 2009 | Central Bedfordshire council". BBC News. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "BBC News - Election 2011 - England council elections - Central Bedfordshire". BBC News. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2015.