Halton Borough Council

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Halton Borough Council
Halton Borough Council logo
Founded1 April 1974 (1974-04-01)
Preceded by
Mayor of Halton
Mark Dennett, Labour
since 20 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Mike Wharton, Labour
since 21 May 2021
Chief Executive
Stephen Young
since 1 April 2022
Seats54 councillors
United Kingdom Halton Borough Council 2022.svg
Political groups
  Labour Party (48)
Other Parties
  Liberal Democrats (3)
  Conservative Party (3)
  • Appointments
  • Audit and Governance
  • Children, Young People and Families PPB
  • Constitution
  • Corporate PPB
  • Council
  • Development Management
  • Employment, Learning and Skills and Community PPB
  • Environment and Urban Renewal PPB
  • Executive
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Health PPB
  • Mayoral
  • Regulatory
  • Safer PPB
  • Standards
Joint committees
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Last election
5 May 2022
Latin: Industria Navem Implet
("Industry fills the ship")
Meeting place
Runcorn Town Hall.jpg
Runcorn Town Hall

Halton Borough Council is the local authority for the Borough of Halton, incorporating the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and the parishes of Daresbury, Hale, Moore and Preston Brook. It is a constituent council of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.[1]


Municipal Building in Widnes, the administrative headquarters for Halton Borough Council

Although Halton dates back to the 12th century when land on both sides of the River Mersey belonged to the Barony of Halton, the origin of the district council was the outcome of the Local Government Commission's 1969 Redcliffe-Maud Report. This proposed to create metropolitan counties containing metropolitan district councils in the most urbanised parts of England. The model was that of the London Boroughs and Greater London Council formed in 1965. Southern Lancashire and northern Cheshire were among these urban areas, and two new metropolitan counties were to be formed around Liverpool (as Merseyside) and Manchester (as Greater Manchester). However, the towns of Widnes and Runcorn (and the County Borough of Warrington) which lay between these were reluctant to join either.[citation needed] The Commission agreed that Halton and Warrington would become districts within Cheshire, as they would be detached from Lancashire by the two new metropolitan counties controlling the territory to the north.

The district was formally established on 1 April 1974 from Runcorn Urban District and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and the Borough of Widnes and the parish of Hale from Whiston Rural District in Lancashire. On 1 April 1998, Halton became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy.

On 1 April 2014, Halton became part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, joining the local authorities of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, the five metropolitan district councils which constitute the county of Merseyside. This effectively reverses the position adopted in the 1970s which created it as an anomaly. As a unitary authority its status is similar to the metropolitan district councils.[2]

Political control[edit]

Elections to the council are by thirds. This means that a third of the 54 councillors are elected every year over a four-year cycle (with no elections in the fourth year). Elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May.

Since the creation of the council in 1974, political control of the council has been held by the following parties:[3][4]

Year Overall Control
1974–present Labour Party


Coat of arms of Halton Borough Council
Halton Escutcheon.png
Granted 6 October 1983
On a Wreath Or and Gules four Roses set in square Gules barbed and seeded proper and standing within the same a Garb gold.
Gules four Lozenges conjoined in pale Or between two Pallets wavy Azure fimbriated Argent.
On the dexter side a Male Griffin reguardant azure beaked rayed and the forelegs Or langued and clawed Gules holding fesswise in the dexter claw an Alembic Gold and on the sinister side a Lion reguardant Sable armed Gules crowned Or supporting by the sinister paw an Abbatial Crozier with Sudarium proper all upon a Compartment comprising a Segment of Steel proper.
'INDUSTRIA NAVEM IMPLET' - Industry fills the ship [5]


  1. ^ "Proposal to establish a combined authority for Greater Merseyside" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  2. ^ Clay, Oliver, Halton to become part of Liverpool city region, Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News, archived from the original on 27 July 2011, retrieved 15 January 2009
  3. ^ Coligan, Nick (25 April 2007). "It's one fight that Labour cannot lose ; Lib Dems' mission impossible: Local elections 2007". Liverpool Echo. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Halton". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Halton (England)". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 25 June 2020.