Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

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Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Shown within Berkshire
Shown within Berkshire
Coordinates: 51°28′00″N 0°40′00″W / 51.4667°N 0.6667°W / 51.4667; -0.6667Coordinates: 51°28′00″N 0°40′00″W / 51.4667°N 0.6667°W / 51.4667; -0.6667
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
StatusUnitary authority
Incorporated1 April 1974
Admin HQMaidenhead
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyWindsor and Maidenhead Borough Council
 • LeadershipCllr. Simon Dudley (Leader of the Cabinet) (Conservative)
 • MPsAdam Afriyie (Windsor)
Theresa May (Maidenhead)
 • Total76.61 sq mi (198.43 km2)
Area rank167th (of 326)
(mid-2017 est.)
 • Total150,100
 • Rank130th (of 326)
 • Density2,000/sq mi (760/km2)
 • Ethnicity
90.2% White
5.4% S.Asian
1.2% Black
1.7% Mixed Race
1.4% Chinese or Other[1]
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code00ME (ONS) E06000040 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU926750

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is a Royal Borough of Berkshire, in South East England. Its nearest border to London, being Maidenhead is approx 30 miles. It is home to Windsor Castle, Eton College, Legoland Windsor and Ascot Racecourse. It is one of four boroughs entitled to be prefixed Royal and is one of six unitary authorities in its county which has Historic and Lieutenancy county status.

Incorporation and enhancement to unitary authority[edit]

The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 as one of six standard districts or boroughs within Berkshire, under the Local Government Act 1972, from minor parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire which remained for more than two decades Administrative Counties, and such that Berkshire assumed the high-level local government functions for the resultant area. The change merged the boroughs of Maidenhead and Windsor (formally the Royal Borough of New Windsor), the rural districts of Cookham and Windsor, and in Buckinghamshire, north of the River Thames (on the left bank): Eton urban district and the parishes of Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury in its rural district.[2] The area immediately inherited by law royal borough status from the town of Windsor which contains Windsor Castle.

The local authority is its Council. Its area became a unitary authority area on 1 April 1998 with virtually full local government powers as Berkshire County Council was abolished.[3] A minority of the area in terms of population has a lower level of local government, the civil parish.

River Thames[edit]

The borough straddles the River Thames. Approximately half of its flow through the borough has a bypass and seasonally-variable flood relief channel, the Jubilee River. Further flood relief channels are planned for the reaches below the Borough to benefit many other settlements including Datchet and Wraysbury in the Borough which were the settlements most widely affected by the UK storms of January-February 2014.[4]

Towns and villages[edit]

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead contains the following towns and villages



The Royal Borough is represented at Westminster by two members of parliament of the Conservative Party: Adam Afriyie (for Windsor) and Prime Minister Theresa May (for Maidenhead). Maidenhead has been held by the Conservative Party since its creation in 1997. Windsor has been held by the same party since 1874 with varying representation from its 1484 creation including more than 350 initial years with two MPs. Small parts of wards of other seats, notably the Slough unitary area and Wokingham have intermittently been included in each seat to prevent malapportionment which is a definition of boundaries which causes any MP to serve a significantly different number of potential voters (electors) than the others.[5][6]

The irregular, elongated shape of the Windsor seat being the south-east half of the Borough has been criticised by academics who noted the net changes which the Heath administration led through Parliament in 1972, implemented in 1974, intensified difference. They frequently grouped right-leaning suburban areas within urban historic centres and more modern, urban left-leaning areas such as the bulk of Slough. This ostensibly amounted to nationwide gerrymandering or homogenisation to install a greater number safe seats at the expense of marginal seats however also reflected the majority of social associations of people in each area.[7]

Local government[edit]

The Royal Borough is currently under a Conservative administration. Elections for councillors to the Royal Borough take place every four years; the last took place in 2015.

The Royal Borough is controlled by a Cabinet which controls the local authority. Currently under the Conservative control, Cllr. Simon Dudley is the leader of the council. He is supported by the current Mayor Cllr. Paul Lion and his wife, the Mayoress, Mrs Laura Lion.

The political control of the Royal Borough is as follows:[8][9]

Party in control Years
Conservative 1973–1991
No overall control 1991–1995
Liberal Democrats 1995–1997
No overall control 1997–2003
Liberal Democrats 2003–2007
Conservative 2007–present

57 councillors represent the electorate of 23 wards.[10]

Parish and town councils[edit]

There are 14 parish councils and 1 town council in the borough. They are: Bisham, Bray, Cookham, Cox Green, Datchet, Eton (town), Horton, Hurley, Old Windsor, Shottesbrooke, Sunningdale, Sunninghill and Ascot, Waltham St Lawrence, White Waltham, Wraysbury.

The towns of Maidenhead and Windsor are unparished.


The Windsor and Maidenhead LEA provides a comprehensive system, with a three-tier successive school system in Windsor, and two-tier education elsewhere. Colleges and sixth forms are available in the main two towns as across its borders in Egham, Slough and Wokingham.[11]

Twin towns[edit]

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is twinned with the following Towns:


  1. ^ Population estimates
  2. ^ The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972. SO 1972/2039.
  3. ^ The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996. SI 1996/1879
  4. ^ Lower Thames Strategy Study: Strategic Environmental Assessment environmental report, Environment Agency, 2009. Accessed 31-12-2017
  5. ^ Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995 (SI 1995/1626)
  6. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) (Miscellaneous Changes) Order 1998 (SI 1998/3152).
  7. ^ Polity (magazine): 6:298 (147 and 183) "The Case of the Vanishing Marginals", D. R. Mayhew (1974)
  8. ^ UK Politics | Local Elections 2000 | Windsor & Maidenhead Royal. BBC News. Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  9. ^ Election 2007 | Local Council Elections | Windsor & Maidenhead Royal council. BBC News (4 May 2007). Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Councillors". The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  11. ^ "School system in Windsor to remain as three-tier". Windsor Advertiser. 5 July 2012.
  12. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 July 2013.