Cotswold District

Coordinates: 51°43′08″N 1°58′05″W / 51.719°N 1.968°W / 51.719; -1.968
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51°43′08″N 1°58′05″W / 51.719°N 1.968°W / 51.719; -1.968

Cotswold District
Cirencester, the administrative centre of the Cotswold District
Cirencester, the administrative centre of the Cotswold District
Cotswold shown within Gloucestershire
Cotswold shown within Gloucestershire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Non-metropolitan countyGloucestershire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQCirencester
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyCotswold District Council
 • MPsGeoffrey Clifton-Brown
 • Total449.6 sq mi (1,164.5 km2)
 • Rank20th (of 296)
 • Total91,311
 • Rank260th (of 296)
 • Density200/sq mi (78/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code23UC (ONS)
E07000079 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSP0221002304

Cotswold is a local government district in Gloucestershire, England. It is named after the wider Cotswolds region and range of hills. The council is based in the district's largest town of Cirencester. The district also includes the towns of Chipping Campden, Fairford, Lechlade, Moreton-in-Marsh, Northleach, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury, along with numerous villages and surrounding rural areas.

In 2021 the district had a population of 91,125. The district covers nearly 450 square miles (1,200 km2), with some 80% of the land located within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[2][3] The much larger area referred to as the Cotswolds encompasses nearly 800 square miles, spanning five counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.[4][5] This large Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty had a population of 139,000 in 2016.[6]

Eighty per cent of the district lies within the River Thames catchment area, with the Thames itself and several tributaries including the River Windrush and River Leach running through the district. Lechlade is an important point on the river as the upstream limit of navigation. In the 2007 floods in the UK, rivers were the source of flooding of 53 per cent of the locations affected and the Thames at Lechlade reached record levels with over 100 reports of flooding.[7]

The neighbouring districts are South Gloucestershire, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Wychavon, Stratford-on-Avon, West Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, Swindon and Wiltshire.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The new district covered the area of five former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[8]

The new district was named Cotswold, reflecting its central position within the hills and wider region of that name.[9]


Cotswold District Council
Nikki Ind,
since 24 May 2023[10]
Joe Harris,
Liberal Democrat
since 14 May 2019
Robert Weaver
since January 2021[11]
Seats34 councillors
Political groups
Administration (21)
  Liberal Democrat (21)
Other parties (13)
  Conservative (9)
  Green Party (2)
  Independents (2)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Council Offices, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX

Cotswold District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Gloucestershire County Council.[12] The whole district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[13]

Political control[edit]

The council has been under Liberal Democrat majority control since the 2019 election.

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[14][15]

Party in control Years
Independent 1974–1999
No overall control 1999–2003
Conservative 2003–2019
Liberal Democrats 2019–present


The council has a ceremonial chair of the council who presides at council meetings and acts as the district's first citizen. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2001 have been:[16]

Councillor Party From To
Les Brown Independent 10 May 2001 20 May 2003
Julie Girling Conservative 20 May 2003 9 May 2006
Lynden Stowe[17] Conservative 9 May 2006 16 May 2017
Mark Annett[18] Conservative 16 May 2017 11 Dec 2018
Tony Berry[18] Conservative 11 Dec 2018 14 May 2019
Joe Harris Liberal Democrats 14 May 2019 Incumbent


Following the 2023 election and one subsequent suspension later in May 2023, the composition of the council was:[19][20]

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrats 21
Conservative 9
Green 2
Independent 2
Total 34

The next election is due in 2027.


The council is based at the Council Offices on Trinity Road in Cirencester.[21] The building was built in 1837 as the Cirencester Union Workhouse, later serving as Watermoor Hospital following the creation of the National Health Service in 1948. After the hospital closed the building was converted to become the council's headquarters, being formally opened by Prince Charles on 21 May 1981.[22][23]

Towns and parishes[edit]

The whole district is covered by civil parishes. The parish councils for Chipping Campden, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade, Moreton-in-Marsh, Northleach with Eastington, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury take the style "town council". Some of the smaller parishes have a parish meeting rather than a parish council.[24]


In terms of television, the area receives various transmitters from different regions:

Radio stations for the area are:

The district is served by the weekly local newspaper, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. [29]


Since the last full review of boundaries in 2015 the council has comprised 34 councillors representing 32 wards, with two wards electing two councillors and the rest electing one each. Elections are held every four years.[30]


There are 34 councillors. After the May 2019 election, there were 18 Liberal Democrats, 14 Conservatives, one independent and one Green.

Ward Councillor Party
Abbey Mark Harris Liberal Democrats
Blockley Clare Turner Green
Bourton Vale Len Wilkins Conservative
Bourton Village Jon Wareing Liberal Democrats
Campden and Vale Gina Blomefield Conservative
Tom Stowe Conservative
Chedworth and Churn Valley Paul Hodgkinson Liberal Democrats
Chesterton Roly Hughes Liberal Democrats
Coln Valley David Fowles Conservative
Ermin Julia Judd Conservative
Fairford North Michael Vann Liberal Democrats
Fosseridge David Cunningham Conservative
Four Acres Ray Brassington Liberal Democrats
Grumbolds Ash with Avening Tony Slater Conservative
Kemble Mike McKeown Liberal Democrats
Lechlade, Kempsford and Fairford South Clare Muir Liberal Democrats
Helene Mansilla Liberal Democrats
Moreton East Angus Jenkinson Liberal Democrats
Moreton West Daryl Corps Conservative
New Mills Claire Bloomer Liberal Democrats
Northleach Tony Dale Liberal Democrats
Sandywell Jeremy Theyer Conservative
Siddington and Cerney Rural Mike Evemy Liberal Democrats
South Cerney Village Juliet Layton Liberal Democrats
St Michael's Joe Harris Liberal Democrats
Stow Dilys Neill Liberal Democrats
Stratton Patrick Coleman Liberal Democrats
Tetbury East and Rural Nikki Ind Independent
Tetbury Central Ian Watson Liberal Democrats
Tetbury with Upton Chris Twells Independent
The Ampneys and Hampton Lisa Spivey Liberal Democrats
The Beeches Nigel Robbins Liberal Democrats
The Rissingtons Andrew Maclean Green
Watermoor Gary Selwyn Liberal Democrats

Chairs of the Council[edit]

Councillor Party From To
D C Leadbeater Independent 1973 1976
C Staite Independent 1976 1977
J Clark Independent 1977 1981
I Lamb Conservative 1981 1983
H Groves Independent 1983 1986
P Cutts Independent 1986 1989
I Maitland Hume Independent 1989 1991
D Godman Independent 1991 1993
M Brown Independent 1993 1995
Sue Herdman Independent 1995 1998
P Pretty Independent 1998 1999
B Evans Independent 1999 2001
Tim Royle Conservative 2001 2004
Sue Jepson Conservative 2004 2007
Sheila Jeffery Conservative 2007 2009
Ben Jeffrey Conservative 2009 2010
Carolyn Nicolle Conservative 2010 2012
Edward Horsfall Conservative 2012 2014
Clive Bennett Conservative 2014 2015
Mark Annett Conservative 2015 2017
Julian Beale Conservative 2017 2019
Nigel Robbins Liberal Democrats 2019 2021
Dilys Neill Liberal Democrats 2021 2023
Nikki Ind Independent 2023


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Cotswold Local Authority (E07000079)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "About the Council - Cotswold District Council".
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ " - The Official Cotswolds Tourist Information Site". Cotswolds.
  5. ^ "In Deep: Idyllic England in the Cotswolds | Butterfield & Robinson". 14 August 2017.
  6. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ "Cotswold District Council - Review of the Summer 2007 floods in Cotswold District". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
  8. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  9. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  10. ^ "Council minutes, 24 May 2023" (PDF). Cotswold District Council. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Cotswold District Council appoints new Chief Executive". Cotswold District Council. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  12. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  13. ^ "Election maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Cotswold". BBC News Online. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  16. ^ "Council minutes". Cotswold District Council. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  17. ^ Al Rasheed, Tarik (21 February 2017). "Leader of Cotswold District Council, Cllr Lynden Stowe, to step down at annual meeting". Worcester News. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  18. ^ a b "Christmas message from Cllr Tony Berry, Leader Cotswold District Council". Loving the Cotswolds. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2022. ...taking over from Cllr Mark Annett who stepped down in late September for health reasons...
  19. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  20. ^ Heath, Nathan (12 May 2023). "Lib Dem who won two seats 150 miles apart suspended". BBC News. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Contact us". Cotswold District Council. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  22. ^ Higginbotham, Peter. "Cirencester Workhouse". The Workhouse. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  23. ^ Ward-Davies, Ivor (22 May 1981). "Royal bills sized up". Western Daily Press. Bristol. p. 3. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  24. ^ "Parish council contact details". Cotswold District Council. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  25. ^ "Full Freeview on the Mendip (Somerset, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  26. ^ "Full Freeview on the Oxford (Oxfordshire, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  27. ^ "Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) Full Freeview transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  28. ^ "Cotswolds Radio". Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  29. ^ "Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard". British Papers. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  30. ^ "The Cotswold (Electoral Changes) Order 2015",, The National Archives, SI 2015/113, retrieved 26 August 2023

Media related to Cotswold at Wikimedia Commons

External links[edit]