Essex County Council

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Essex County Council
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Non-metropolitan county council of Essex
Leadership
Chairman
Cllr John Aldridge,
Conservative
Since 02 May 2013
Vice chairman
Cllr John Jowers,
Conservative
Since 02 May 2013
Leader of the Conservative group
Cllr David Malcolm Finch,
Conservative
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group
Cllr Michael John Mackrory JP,
Liberal Democrat
Structure
Seats 75 (38 needed for a majority)
Results of the Essex County Council elections, 2017.svg
Political groups
Largest party
     Conservative Party (56)
Official Opposition
     Liberal Democrat (7)
Other opposition parties
Length of term
up to 4 years
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
4 May 2021
Meeting place
County Hall Chelmsford Essex.jpg
County Hall
Chelmsford
Essex
United Kingdom
Website
www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Default.aspx

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.[1] 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.[2]

History[edit]

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 libraries and the Essex fire authority.

Following the 2013 County Council elections the Conservative Party retained overall control of the council, but their majority fell from twenty-two to 7 councillors. UKIP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats all won nine seats. Of the three second-placed parties who won nine seats, UKIP gained the largest share of the county-wide vote, more than 10% ahead of the Labour party.[3] The Liberal Democrats remained as the official Opposition, despite winning fewer votes.[3] The Green Party gained two seats on the Council, despite its overall share of the vote falling. The Independent Loughton Residents Association and the Canvey Island Independent Party both returned one member and an Independent candidate was also elected. In the 2017 election, 56 Conservatives were elected, 7 Liberal Democrats, 6 Labour, 2 Canvey Island Independent party, 1 Loughton Residents Association, 1 Green and 2 independents. The independents and minor parties have since 2006 generally formed themselves into a political group, known as the Non-aligned group, and duly did so again on 9 May 2017. All 75 members of the Council are thus members of a political group. The next election will be in 2021.

The county of Essex is divided into 12 district and borough councils with 2 unitary authorities (Southend on Sea and Thurrock). The 12 councils manage housing, local planning, refuse collection, street cleaning, elections and meet in their respective civic offices. The local representatives are elected in parts in local elections, held every year. The County Council has no say in the work of the two unitary authorities, but works closely with them..

Young Essex Assembly[edit]

The Essex County Council also has a Youth Assembly, 75 members aged between 11 and 19 who aim to represent all young people in their districts across Essex. They decide on the priorities for young people and campaign to make a positive difference. With this, some district and unitary authorities may have their own youth councils, such as Epping Forest, Uttlesford and Harlow.

The elections to the Young Essex Assembly occur in the respective schools in which the candidates are standing. These young people will then go on to represent their school and their entire district.

The initiative seeks to engage younger people in the county and rely on the youth councilors of all status to work closely with schools and youth centres to improve youth services in Essex and help voice concerns of younger people in Essex.

Twelve of the members will then be voted for by the remaining youth councilors to go to the UK Youth Parliament representing Essex.

Political control[edit]

As of 5 May 2017, the composition of the council is as follows:

Party Affiliation Number
Conservative 56
Liberal Democrats 7
Labour 6
Green 1
Canvey Island Independent Party 2
Independent Loughton Residents Association 1
Independent 2
Party or group in control Years
Conservative 1973-85
No overall control 1985-89
Conservative 1989-93
No overall control 1993-97
Conservative 1997–present

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]