Essex County Council

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Essex County Council
Arms of Essex.svg
Seats 75[1]
Joint committees
East of England Local Government Association
45 / 75
9 / 75
8 / 75
6 / 75
2 / 75
5 / 75
First past the post
Last election
Next election
Meeting place
County Hall, Chelmsford

Essex County Council is the county council that governs the non-metropolitan county of Essex in England. It has 75 councillors, elected from 70 divisions, and is currently controlled by the Conservative Party.[2] The council meets at County Hall in the centre of Chelmsford. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.

Area and responsibilities[edit]

At the time of the 2011 census it served a population of 1,393,600, which makes it one of the largest local authorities in England. As a non-metropolitan county council, responsibilities are shared between districts (including boroughs) and in many areas also between civil parish (including town) councils. Births, marriages/civil partnerships and death registration, roads, libraries and archives, refuse disposal, most of state education, of social services and of transport are provided at the county level.[3]


The county council was formed in 1889, governing the administrative county of Essex. West Ham, otherwise part of Essex at the time, was a county borough and therefore outside the area of responsibility for the county council. Southend-on-Sea (1914) and East Ham (1915) were also removed. In 1965 Barking, Chingford, Dagenham, Hornchurch, Ilford, Leyton, Romford, Walthamstow, and 'Wanstead and Woodford' were transferred to Greater London. The county council was reconstituted in 1974 as a non-metropolitan county council, regaining jurisdiction in Southend-on-Sea, however the non-metropolitan county was reduced in size in 1998 and the council passed responsibilities to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council in those districts. For certain services the three authorities co-operate through joint arrangements, such as the Essex fire authority.

Political control[edit]

As of 10 May 2016, the composition of the council is as follows:

Party Affiliation Number
Conservative 45
Labour 8
Liberal Democrats 9
Green 2
Canvey Island Independent Party 1
Independent Loughton Residents Association 1
Residents for Uttlesford 1
Holland Residents Association 1
Independent 1
Party or group in control Years
Conservative 1973 - 1985
No overall control 1985 - 1989
Conservative 1989 - 1993
No overall control 1993 - 1997
Conservative 1997–present

Notable members[edit]