Cheshire West and Chester Council
|Founded||1 April 2009|
|Preceded by||Cheshire County Council|
Chair of Council
|Committees||13 (excluding the cabinet)|
|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)
|2 May 2019|
|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.
Powers and functions
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.
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. 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.
Council seats since 2008
|Election||Conservative||Independent||Labour||Liberal Democrats||Green 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|
|Central and Grange||Robert Bisset||Profile||2015|
|Chester City and The Garden Quarter||Martyn Delaney||Profile||2014|
|Samantha Dixon MBE MP||Profile||2011|
|Christleton and Huntington||Stuart Parker MBE||Profile||2008|
|Davenham, Moulton and Kingsmead||Elton Watson||Profile||2019|
|Gowy Rural||Graham Heatley||Profile||2019|
|Great Boughton||Keith Board||Profile||2008|
|Handbridge Park||Razia Daniels||Profile||2008|
|Hartford and Greenbank||Phil Herbert||Profile||2019|
|Ledsham and Manor||Christine Warner||Profile||2019|
|Little Neston||Louise Gittins||Profile||2011|
|Newton and Hoole||Richard Beacham||Profile||2015|
|Northwich Winnington and Castle||Kate Cernik||Profile||2019|
|Northwich Witton||Sam Naylor||Profile||2014|
|Saughall and Mollington||Simon Eardley||Profile||2019|
|Sutton Villages||Paul Donovan||Profile||2008|
|Tarporley||Eveleigh Moore Dutton||Profile||2011|
|Tarvin and Kelsall||John Leather||Profile||2011|
|Weaver and Cuddington||Gillian Edwards||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|
|Winsford Swanlow||Mal Gaskill||Profile||2019|
|Winsford Wharton||Nathan Pardoe||Profile||2019|
- "Council minutes, 21 May 2015" (PDF). Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- "Council minutes, 21 May 2019" (PDF). Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- "Your Councillors". 21 April 2022.
- Phil McCann (22 May 2019). "Cheshire East Council elects first Labour leader". BBC. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- Holmes, David (23 September 2010). "Cheshire West and Chester Council HQ is 21st century workplace". Cheshire Live. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Customer service centres". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- "Council minutes". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
- 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.
- "New Cheshire West and Chester Council leader promises 'stronger communities'". Northwich Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2019.