Cheshire West and Chester

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Cheshire West and Chester
Borough and Unitary authority
Official logo of Cheshire West and Chester
Emblem of Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cheshire West and Chester highlighted in red on a beige political map of Cheshire
Cheshire West and Chester shown within Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°12′47″N 2°54′07″W / 53.213°N 2.902°W / 53.213; -2.902Coordinates: 53°12′47″N 2°54′07″W / 53.213°N 2.902°W / 53.213; -2.902
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county  Cheshire
Established 1 April 2009
Administrative HQ Chester (HQ)
Government
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Body Cheshire West and Chester Council
 • Governance Leader and cabinet
 • Executive Labour
 • Leader Samantha Dixon
 • Chairman Bob Rudd
 • Chief Executive Vacant
Area
 • Total 353.9 sq mi (916.7 km2)
Area rank 32nd
Elevation 745 ft (227 m)
Population (mid-2017 est.)
 • Total 338,000
 • Rank 21st
 • Density 950/sq mi (368/km2)
Ethnicity (2011)
 • White 97.5%
 • Asian 1.3%
 • Mixed 0.9%
 • Black 0.3%
 • Other 0.2%
Religion (2011)
 • Christian 70.1%
 • No religion 22.0%
 • Undeclared 6.5%
 • Muslim 0.5%
 • Other 0.9%
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postcode areas CH (1-4, 33-34, 64-66)
CW (6-9)
SY (14)
WA (4-6)
Dialling codes 01244 (Chester)
0151 (Liverpool)
01606 (Northwich)
01829 (Tarporley)
01948 (Whitchurch)
ISO 3166 code GB-CHW
Vehicle registration prefix D
GSS code E06000050
NUTS 3 code UKD63
ONS code 00EW
Motorways M6
M53
M56
Trunk primary routes A41
A55
A483
A494
A550
Major railway stations Chester (B)
GVA (2013) £7.567bn (56th) Increase 2.25%
- Per capita £22,860 (37th) Increase 1.99%
Councillors 75
MPs Chris Matheson (L)
Antoinette Sandbach (C)
Justin Madders (L)
Esther McVey (C)
Mike Amesbury (L)
European Parliament North West England
Police area Cheshire
Fire service Cheshire
Ambulance service North West
Website www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Cheshire West and Chester is a unitary authority with borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 local government changes, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.[1] It superseded the boroughs of Ellesmere Port and Neston and Vale Royal and the City of Chester; its council assumed the functions and responsibilities of the former Cheshire County Council within its area. The remainder of ceremonial Cheshire is composed of Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington.

The decision to create the Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority was announced on 25 July 2007 following a consultation period, in which a proposal to create a single Cheshire unitary authority was rejected.[2] The Town and people of Northwich preferred option (2007) was to keep the status quo or to be merged with Cheshire East as Northwich has always had stronger connections with Knutsford and Middlewich who are in Cheshire East.

Governance[edit]

Political composition of Cheshire West and Chester Council
Political party Seats
Conservative 36
Independent 1
Labour 38
Total 75

In line with every other district in Cheshire, the cabinet (formerly 'the executive' between 2009 and 2015)[3] is composed of elected councillors. From its establishment in 2009, Cheshire West and Chester was governed by the Conservative Party, with Mike Jones as leader. Since the 2015 elections it has been governed by the Labour Party, with Samantha Dixon becoming the first female leader of the council upon taking office.

The leader presently oversees a cabinet of eight, with each member holding a specific portfolio. Opposition parties can also elect to appoint shadow cabinet members, though they have no executive power.

All councillors vote to appoint a chairman for the following municipal year (May) at the council AGM. Traditionally, this role was combined with that of the apolitical and ceremonial Lord Mayor of Chester, but in 2015 these roles were separated and the role of chairman was politicised.[4]

The cabinet is scrutinised by one general committee and four district committees made up of councillors, which replaced six dedicated scrutiny committees for different topics in May 2015.[4]

HQ in Chester, the headquarters of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Upon its establishment in 2009, Cheshire West and Chester Council inherited a number of buildings from the local authorities it replaced in every town in the borough. However, despite Cheshire County Council vacating its headquarters (County Hall, Chester), the new authority spent £21 million purchasing and furbishing a new headquarters, also in Chester.[5] The former County Hall was later sold to the University of Chester, who now use it as a campus, for £10 million.[5]

Meetings often take place at Chester Town Hall but also are sometimes held at Wyvern House in Winsford.

Elections[edit]

The first elections to the authority took place on 1 May 2008, with the electoral wards being the same as those used in the former Cheshire County Council elections, each ward electing three councillors. There were twenty-four wards in total, meaning that seventy-two councillors were elected.

An electoral review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England was put into effect prior to the 2011 elections, meaning that three additional councillors were created, making a total of seventy-five in the borough. The ward boundaries were also comprehensively re-drawn, with their number being increased by twenty-two to forty-six. The new wards were mostly single-member wards, with two and three-member wards for the more populous areas.[6][7]

The 2015 election took place on 7 May, producing the first change of executive in the council's history.[8]

Council wards, Civil parishes and House of Commons constituencies[edit]

The borough is divided into forty-six wards,[6][7] listed below in alphabetical order.

There are ninety-seven parish councils in the borough,[9][10] despite there being a total of 166 civil parishes before a community governance review was undertaken by the borough council in 2014[11] under section 82 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.[12]

Notes
  1. ^ 3: Civil parishes highlighted in bold have unilaterally declared town status under section 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Constituency Member of Parliament Political party Year first elected Notes Website
City of Chester Chris Matheson Labour Party 2015 Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) URL
Eddisbury Antoinette Sandbach Conservative Party 2015 URL
Ellesmere Port and Neston Justin Madders Labour Party 2015 Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care) URL
Tatton The Rt Hon. Esther McVey Conservative Party 2017[Note 4] Secretary of State for Work and Pensions URL
Weaver Vale Mike Amesbury Labour Party 2017 URL
MPs in Cheshire West and Chester, 2005 onwards
Election 2005[Note 5] 2010[Note 6] 2015 2017
City of Chester Christine Russell Stephen Mosley Chris Matheson
Eddisbury The Rt Hon. Stephen O'Brien Antoinette Sandbach
Ellesmere Port and Neston Andrew Miller Justin Madders
Tatton The Rt Hon. George Osborne CH The Rt Hon. Esther McVey
Weaver Vale Mike Hall Graham Evans Mike Amesbury

Current MPs are highlighted in bold.

Notes
  1. ^ 4: Previously elected to parliament in 2010 for the Wirral West constituency.
  2. ^ 5: From the last election before the borough of Cheshire West and Chester was established.
  3. ^ 6: From the first election following the most recent periodic review of Westminster constituencies, where boundary changes affected the constituencies.

Members of the European Parliament[edit]

Cheshire West and Chester forms part of the North West England constituency, which elects eight members to the European Parliament using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. The remaining length of their mandate is unclear after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the membership referendum held in June 2016.

Constituency Member of the European Parliament National political party European political party European Parliament group Year first elected[Note 1] Website
North West England Louise Bours UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy 2014 URL
Jacqueline Foster Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists European Conservatives and Reformists 1999[Note 2] URL
Theresa Griffin Labour Party Party of European Socialists Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 2014 URL
Sajjad Karim Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists European Conservatives and Reformists 2004 URL
Wajid Khan Labour Party Party of European Socialists Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 2017 URL
Paul Nuttall UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy 2009 URL
Julie Ward Labour Party Party of European Socialists Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 2014 URL
Steven Woolfe Independent None Non-Inscrits 2014 URL
Notes
  1. ^ 1: Italics indicate a current member replaced an outgoing member from their party list outside a scheduled election.
  2. ^ 2: Defeated in 2004, re-elected in 2009.

Demography[edit]

Ethnicity[edit]

Ethnicity in Cheshire West and Chester (2011 census)[13]
Ethnicity Percent(%)
White
97.5%
Asian
1.3%
Mixed
0.9%
Black
0.3%
Arab
0.1%
Other
0.1%

In line with nearly every local government district in England and Wales, the majority of the population describe themselves as 'white'. The exact figure - 97.5% - is comparable with metropolitan counties such as Merseyside, non-metropolitan counties such as Cumbria and principal areas throughout Wales. This would suggest that the figure is not a significant outlier nationwide.

The next largest ethnic group in the borough is Asian, who along with other ethnic minorities are supported by the Cheshire Asian & Minority Communities Council, a registered charity headquartered in Chester.

Nationality[edit]

2011 United Kingdom Census[13]
Country of birth Population
United Kingdom United Kingdom 313,621
Poland Poland 2,117
Republic of Ireland Ireland 1,932
Germany Germany 1,270
India India 895
South Africa South Africa 717
United States United States 481
Australia Australia 343
Philippines Philippines 337
Hong Kong Hong Kong 305
Spain Spain 301
Italy Italy 278
France France 273
Bangladesh Bangladesh 266
China China 256
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 240
Turkey Turkey 218
Pakistan Pakistan 162
Kenya Kenya 155
Portugal Portugal 140
Nigeria Nigeria 139
Lithuania Lithuania 137
Romania Romania 135
Iran Iran 102
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 98
Jamaica Jamaica 45
Ghana Ghana 41

The majority of the population of Cheshire West and Chester is British-born, with the percentage standing at 95.1% (2011), a figure significantly above that of the UK as a whole (88.7%, 2010).[14] The largest overseas nationality is Polish, which is significant because of the World War II U.S. military base and subsequent Polish refugee camp in Cuddington.

Religion[edit]

Religion in Cheshire West and Chester (2011 census)[13]
Religion Percent(%)
Christian
70.1%
No religion
22.0%
Undeclared
6.5%
Muslim
0.5%
Other
0.3%
Buddhist
0.2%
Hindu
0.2%
Jewish
0.1%
Sikh
0.1%

The overwhelming main religion in Cheshire West and Chester is Christianity, with a percentage figure above the average for England and Wales (59.3%, 2011).[13] The single largest church is the Church of England, with the borough being served by the Chester Archdeaconry, with six deaneries and an average of twenty parish churches in each deanery. Roman Catholicism also has a significant presence across the borough, with all its churches located in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

Methodist churches in the borough form groups averaging ten, known as 'circuits' (the four in Cheshire West and Chester are all part of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District). More marginal churches include Assemblies of God, Baptist Union, Elim Pentecostal, United Reformed and the English Presbyterian Church of Wales in Chester.

Aside from churches, there are two mosques in Cheshire West and Chester - one each in Chester and Ellesmere Port - which were subjected to property theft[15] and racially aggravated disorder[16] respectively in 2014.

Local nature reserves[edit]

Cheshire West and Chester Council maintains six Local Nature Reserves: Burton Mill Wood (Ellesmere Port), Helsby Quarry (Vale Royal), Marshall's Arm (Vale Royal), Rivacre Valley (Ellesmere Port), Stanney Wood (Ellesmere Port) and Whitby Park (Ellesmere Port).[17]

Transport[edit]

Air[edit]

There are no passenger airports in the borough (a grass airfield exists in Little Budworth), with the nearest being Liverpool and Manchester which licensed vehicles provide transport to. Airbus' fleet of A300-600ST Beluga transporter aircraft are based at Hawarden Airport in neighbouring Flintshire, adjacent to their wing manufacturing facility.

Cycling[edit]

National routes which pass through the borough include NCR5, NCR45 (Mercian Way), NCR56, NCR562, NCR563, NCR568 and NCR573. Regional routes include 70 (Cheshire Cycleway) and 71.

Three disused railways in the borough have been converted to off-road cycleways, including:

The Shropshire Union Canal towpath between Waverton and the National Waterways Museum is paved with asphalt and is a shared-use route between cyclists and pedestrians, for a distance of 12.5 miles. Between Tarvin Bridge and Blacon Avenue, it is also lit.

In 2009, Chester was awarded the status of 'Cycling Town' by Cycling England. To reflect this, a series of colour-coded signposted routes around the city were devised in 2012.[18] The total length of new signposted routes created by the project was thirty-eight miles, bringing the overall total in the borough to 312.5. The total funding received from the cycling town project, which ended in 2011 when Cycling England was disbanded, was £4.4 million.[19] A similar network of over thirty miles of cycle routes branded the Ellesmere Port Grenway has been proposed by the town's development board.[20]

Park and Ride[edit]

Chester has four park and ride sites located adjacent to radial routes on the city's outskirts (Boughton Heath, Sealand Road, Upton and Wrexham Road) running on two lines which intersect at Chester Bus Interchange. A fifth site is proposed near Hoole Village.

Chester Park and Ride services
Route Terminus Intermediate stop Chester city centre Intermediate stop Terminus
Blue (PR1) Upton (Zoo) Countess of Chester Hospital Delamere Street Chester Bus Interchange Foregate Street Pepper Street Grosvenor Road Wrexham Road
Green (PR2) Sealand Road Sealand Road (Greyhound Park) Canal Street Boughton Boughton Heath

Hooton station is designated as a park and ride facility for railway services on the Wirral Line, it contains a 418-space car park.[21]

Rail[edit]

Chester is the hub of the railway network in the borough, with over four million trips recorded annually. Passenger numbers doubled to this figure in the ten years to 2015, making the station the eighth-busiest in North West England.[22] Railway lines (and their associated franchise(s)) in the borough - not necessarily connecting to Chester - include:

Current and proposed improvements[edit]

Direct services between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street are proposed to run via the Halton Curve once it is upgraded to allow trains to run in both directions and therefore allow regular services to run in 2018.[23] Work began on the upgrade in July 2017.[24]

The sections of railway between Chester - Stockport and Chester - Warrington Bank Quay are proposed for electrification during the period 2019-2024.[25]

The Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot serving High Speed Two is proposed to be built in the civil parish of Stanthorne and Wimboldsley. The line itself enters the borough in that location and leaves it again near the A556/A559 junction at Lostock Gralam.[26]

Road[edit]

A556 west of Northwich looking towards Sandiway.

Motorways and primary routes in the borough which are maintained by Highways England (trunk roads de jure) include the M6, M53, M56, A55, A483, A494, A550 and a short section of the A41 in Hooton. Other primary routes which are maintained by the council (principal roads de jure) include the A41, A49, A51, A54, A56, A483, A530, A533, A534, A556, A5115, A5116, A5117 and A5268.

Chester and Ellesmere Port - both primary route destinations - form the hub of the road network in Cheshire West and Chester, with routes of national importance carrying traffic in all directions to locations including Flintshire, Halton, Wirral and Wrexham.

European Route E05 is routed via the M6, carrying international traffic between Scotland, North West England, the West Midlands and France via Southampton. European route E22 is routed via the A494 and M56, carrying international traffic between Ireland (the route in fact begins at the Port of Holyhead), North Wales, North West England, Yorkshire and the Netherlands. Both routes meet at Lymm Interchange, which lies in neighbouring Cheshire East.

Three Roman roads exist in Cheshire West and Chester, Two originating in Chester (Deva Victrix) and running to Northwich (Condate) and Whitchurch (Mediolanum) respectively. The Roman road of kings street in Northwich which runs from Middlewich to Warrington.

The section of the A51 between its western terminus and the B5132 was named as one of the most congested roads in the United Kingdom by INRIX in August 2015.[27]

Three local MPs - Graham Evans, Justin Madders and Chris Matheson - raised safety concerns about the M56 between J12 and J14 in parliament after more than one hundred-and-sixty incidents were recorded since 2011. In response, Andrew Jones, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, confirmed that an upgrade to smart motorway will only take place after 2020.[28][29]

Water[edit]

Navigable waterways in the borough include the Manchester Ship Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal and the Weaver Navigation, the latter two being connected together by the Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich, the only caisson lift lock in the United Kingdom.

Places of interest[edit]

Tourist attractions[edit]

Key
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country Park Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museum
Museum (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Sport[edit]

Football[edit]

Deva Stadium

There is only one full-time professional football club in the borough - Chester FC - who play in the National League. Northwich has four semi-professional teams - Barnton, Northwich Victoria, Witton Albion and 1874 Northwich - all of whom play in regional leagues. Winsford is also represented in the non-league pyramid by Winsford United.

Below level ten of the English football league system are county-wide amateur leagues, with two covering the geographic area of the borough - the Cheshire Association Football League and West Cheshire Association Football League. Although several clubs are members of the former, many more compete in the latter - most notably Vauxhall Motors, who de-professionalised themselves in 2014. Below that is the Chester & Wirral Football League, and also the Mid-Cheshire district leagues who cater for the areas of knutsford, Northwich, Middlewich and Winsford where teams representing neighbourhoods/villages and/or pubs/social clubs ('pub teams') compete.

The largest football stadium in Cheshire West and Chester is the Deva Stadium, home to Chester FC, although the ground famously straddles the England-Wales border.

Twin towns[edit]

Whilst the borough per se does not have any twinning agreements, several of its settlements have agreements predating its creation in 2009, listed below:

Settlement(s) Twin town(s)
Barrow
Littleton
France Aubignan
Chester France Sens
Germany Lörrach
Italy Senigallia
Ellesmere Port Germany Reutlingen
Malpas France Questembert
Northwich France Dole
Republic of Ireland Carlow
Tarporley France Bohars
Upton by Chester France Arradon
Winsford France Deuil-la-Barre

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008 - Article 4". www.legislation.gov.uk. Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "County split into two authorities". BBC News. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "Committee structure". www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Holmes, David (26 May 2015). "Cheshire West and Chester Council have bad-tempered first meeting under Labour control". Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Holmes, David (23 September 2010). "Cheshire West and Chester Council HQ is 21st century workplace". Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Election 2011 Live Results". www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Your Councillors by Ward". www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester Council". Northwich Guardian. Newsquest. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Town and parish councils". www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Parish and Town Councils in Cheshire" (PDF). www.chalc.org.uk. Cheshire Association of Local Councils. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Community governance arrangements". www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 - Section 82". www.legislation.gov.uk. Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d "2011 Census, Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales". www.ons.gov.uk. Office for National Statistics. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Population and social conditions". www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Flint, Rachel (28 July 2014). "Heartless thieves steal plants from mosque during Ramadan". Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  16. ^ Flint, Rachel (23 October 2014). "Ellesmere Port man arrested after pig's head placed outside Islamic centre". Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Statutory Sites". Cheshire West and Chester council. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Complete Library of Free Chester Cycle Route Maps". www.chestercyclecity.org. Chester Cycling Campaign. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Cheshire West and Chester Council Cycling Strategy" (PDF). www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  20. ^ "Ellesmere Port Greenway". www.ellesmereportdevelopment.co.uk. Invest in Ellesmere Port. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "Hooton". www.merseyrail.org. Merseyrail. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Chester Railway Station sees passenger numbers double in 10 years". www.chesterchronicle.co.uk. Chester Chronicle. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "Maynard confirms Halton Curve will reopen at end of 2018". 
  24. ^ Houghton, Alistair (14 July 2017). "Work starts on 'Halton Curve' rail link from Liverpool to North Wales". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  25. ^ "Electrification Task Force Final Report Revealed". www.railnorth.org. Rail North. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "High Speed Two property schemes, July 2017, phase 2B: Crewe to Manchester, Volume 1: Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester key plan" (PDF). www.gov.uk. High Speed Two (HS2) Limited. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  27. ^ "Chester Road one of most congested outside London". www.chesterstandard.co.uk. The Standard. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  28. ^ "Weaver Vale MP raises M56 issues in House of Commons". www.chesterchronicle.co.uk. Chester Chronicle. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  29. ^ "M56 Smart Motorway won't happen". www.chesterchronicle.co.uk. Chester Chronicle. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 

External links[edit]