Cheshire West and Chester Council

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Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cheshire West and Chester Council logo
Founded1 April 2009
Preceded byCheshire County Council
District councils:
  • Chester City Council
  • Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council
  • Vale Royal Borough Council
Chair of Council
Bob Rudd,
since 21 May 2015[1]
Louise Gittins,
since 21 May 2019[2]
Chief Executive
Andrew Lewis
Seats70 councillors[3]
Cheshire West and Chester Council - 2019.svg
Political groups
  Labour (35)
  Conservative (29)
  Independent (3)
  Liberal Democrat (2)
  Green (1)
Committees13 (excluding the cabinet)
Joint committees
Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
Cheshire Fire Authority
Cheshire Police and Crime Panel
Shared Services Joint Committee (with Cheshire East Council)
First past the post (single-member wards)
Plurality-at-large (multi-member wards)
Last election
2 May 2019
Meeting place
Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AH
The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA

Cheshire West and Chester Council is the local authority of Cheshire West and Chester. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. The council was first elected on 1 May 2008, a year before coming into its legal powers on 1 April 2009. After an election in May 2019, no party holds overall control.[4]

Powers and functions[edit]

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. It has a 'general power of competence' as described in the Localism Act 2011, i.e. it is permitted to act in any manner whatsoever which is not unlawful. For the purposes of local government, Cheshire West and Chester is one of the fifty-five unitary authorities in England. This means that is the only principal authority in its territorial jurisdiction, and it has the statutory powers and functions of both a non-metropolitan county and a non-metropolitan district council. The only exceptions to this are the fire and police services, which are still provided on a Cheshire-wide basis by joint boards composed of elected councillors and are funded by a Council Tax precept. Conversely, it is unnecessary for Cheshire West and Chester Council to set a precept for itself as it is also a billing authority.


When created in 2009, the council inherited several administrative buildings from its predecessors, notably including Chester Town Hall and the adjoining offices at The Forum from Chester City Council, the Council Offices at 4 Civic Way in Ellesmere Port from Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council, and Wyvern House on The Drumber in Winsford from Vale Royal Borough Council. The abolished Cheshire County Council's former headquarters at County Hall passed jointly to both Cheshire West and Chester Council and its neighbour Cheshire East Council. County Hall was sold to the University of Chester in 2010, and Cheshire West and Chester Council moved its main offices to a new building called HQ Chester at 58 Nicholas Street in Chester, whilst retaining the other buildings as local offices and additional accommodation.[5][6][7][8]

The HQ Chester building did not contain a council chamber, and most full council meetings were held at Wyvern House in Winsford, except the annual council meeting which was usually held at Chester Town Hall. Committee meetings were held at various venues. This pattern continued until March 2020 when in-person meetings were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the resumption of in-person meetings in May 2021, most committee meetings have been held at Ellesmere Port Library, whilst larger venues have been hired for full council meetings.[9] In 2022 the council moved its main offices to a new building called The Portal on Wellington Road in Ellesmere Port (opposite the library), and vacated most of the space it had formerly occupied at HQ Chester.[10]

Political control[edit]

Since the 2019 election election the council has been under no overall control, with Louise Gittins of Labour serving as leader of the council. The next election is due in 2023.

Council seats since 2008

Election Conservative Independent Labour Liberal Democrats Green Party
2008 55 0 13 4 0
2011 42 0 32 1 0
2015 36 1 38 0 0
2019 28 4 35 2 1
Current 28 4 35 2 1


Position Councillor Party
Leader of the Council, including Wellbeing, Culture, Leisure, Heritage and Greenspace Louise Gittins Labour
Deputy Leader of the Council, including Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport Karen Shore
Children and Families Nicole Meardon
Democracy, Workforce and Localities Paul Donovan
Housing, Regeneration and Growth Richard Beacham
Adult Social Care and Public Health Val Armstrong
Finance and Legal Carol Gahan



Ward Councillor Council profile Year first elected
Blacon Carol Gahan Profile 2015
Sheila Little Profile 2019
Trish Richards Profile 2019
Central and Grange Robert Bisset Profile 2015
Karen Shore Profile 2015
Chester City and The Garden Quarter Martyn Delaney Profile 2014
Samantha Dixon MBE MP Profile 2011
Bob Rudd Profile 2011
Christleton and Huntington Stuart Parker MBE Profile 2008
Mark Williams Profile 2008
Davenham, Moulton and Kingsmead Elton Watson Profile 2019
Helen Weltman Profile 2008
Farndon Paul Roberts Profile 2019
Frodsham Chris Basey Profile 2021
Lynn Riley Profile 2008
Gowy Rural Graham Heatley Profile 2019
Margaret Parker Profile 2011
Great Boughton Keith Board Profile 2008
Steve Collings Profile 2019
Handbridge Park Razia Daniels Profile 2008
Neil Sullivan Profile 2011
Hartford and Greenbank Phil Herbert Profile 2019
Patricia Parkes Profile 2015
Helsby Paul Bowers Profile 2019
Lache Val Armstrong Profile 2015
Ledsham and Manor Christine Warner Profile 2019
Peter Wheeler Profile 2019
Little Neston Louise Gittins Profile 2011
Malpas Rachel Williams Profile 2019
Marbury Lynn Gibbon Profile 2015
Phil Marshall Profile 2019
Norman Wright Profile 2008
Neston Keith Millar Profile 2021
Netherpool Diane Roberts Profile 2011
Newton and Hoole Richard Beacham Profile 2015
Adam Langan Profile 2019
Gill Watson Profile 2015
Northwich Winnington and Castle Kate Cernik Profile 2019
Robert Cernik Profile 2019
Northwich Witton Sam Naylor Profile 2014
Parkgate Martin Barker Profile 2015
Rudheath Helen Treeby Profile 2019
Sandstone Hugo Deynem Profile 2008
Saughall and Mollington Simon Eardley Profile 2019
Shakerley Mark Stocks Profile 2008
Strawberry Gareth Gould Profile 2019
Sutton Villages Paul Donovan Profile 2008
Nicole Meardon Profile 2011
Tarporley Eveleigh Moore Dutton Profile 2011
Tarvin and Kelsall John Leather Profile 2011
Harry Tonge Profile 2015
Tattenhall Mike Jones Profile 2008
Upton Matt Bryan Profile 2015
Jill Houlbrook Profile 2008
Weaver and Cuddington Gillian Edwards Profile 2019
Charles Fifield Profile 2011
Paul Williams Profile 2015
Westminster Lisa Denson Profile 2019
Whitby Groves Brian Jones Profile 2011
Whitby Park Peter Rooney Profile 2015
Willaston and Thornton Myles Hogg Profile 2008
Winsford Dene Mandy Clare Profile 2019
Winsford Gravel Joanne Moorcroft Profile 2019
Winsford Over and Verdin Mike Baynham Profile 2015
Tommy Blackmore Profile 2011
Gina Lewis Profile 2015
Winsford Swanlow Mal Gaskill Profile 2019
Winsford Wharton Nathan Pardoe Profile 2019
Wolverham Michael Edwardson Profile 2018
  Liberal Democrats
  Socialist Labour



  1. ^ "Council minutes, 21 May 2015" (PDF). Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 21 May 2019" (PDF). Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Your Councillors". 21 April 2022.
  4. ^ Phil McCann (22 May 2019). "Cheshire East Council elects first Labour leader". BBC. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  5. ^ Holmes, David (23 September 2010). "Cheshire West and Chester Council HQ is 21st century workplace". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Chester West & Chester Council to sell County Hall to University of Chester and move into HQ building". Cheshire Live. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  7. ^ Holmes, David (3 March 2011). "Cheshire's County Hall sale 'rushed', says auditor, but was still value for money". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Customer service centres". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Council minutes". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  10. ^ Porter, Gary (5 April 2022). "New Cheshire West and Chester Council HQ in Ellesmere Port to open in May". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  11. ^ "New Cheshire West and Chester Council leader promises 'stronger communities'". Northwich Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2019.