Tendring District

Coordinates: 51°47′N 1°08′E / 51.783°N 1.133°E / 51.783; 1.133
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Tendring District
Clacton-on-Sea, the administrative centre of the district
Clacton-on-Sea, the administrative centre of the district
Tendring shown within Essex
Tendring shown within Essex
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyEssex
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQClacton-on-Sea
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyTendring District Council
 • MPsGiles Watling (Conservative);
Bernard Jenkin (Conservative)
 • Total130.34 sq mi (337.58 km2)
 • Rank110th (of 296)
 • Total148,934
 • Rank144th (of 296)
 • Density1,100/sq mi (440/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code22UN (ONS)
E07000076 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTM170150
Tendring District Council
Gary Scott,
Liberal Democrat
since 23 May 2023
Mark Stephenson,
since 23 May 2023
Ian Davidson
since 1 December 2010[2]
Seats48 councillors
Political groups
  Conservative (19)
  Independent (16)
  Labour (8)
  Liberal Democrats (4)
  Tendring First (1)
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
Meeting place
Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1SE
Harwich, an important port town in both the district and Essex

Tendring District is a local government district in north-east Essex, England. Its council is based in Clacton-on-Sea, the largest town. Other towns are Brightlingsea, Harwich, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze.

The district borders the City of Colchester to the west and the Babergh District of Suffolk, across the estuary of the River Stour, to the north. To the east and south, it faces the North Sea, with the estuary of the River Colne to the south-west. The area is sometimes referred to as the Tendring Peninsula.

Walton-on-the-Naze, one of the many coastal settlements in the district

The modern local government district was formed in 1974. The name Tendring comes from the ancient Tendring Hundred which was named after the small village of Tendring.

Jaywick, a shanty settlement on the coast near Clacton

During the English Civil War, the self-appointed Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins carried out many trials throughout this and the surrounding area, especially in the town of Manningtree and village of Mistley on the River Stour.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the whole area of five former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[3]

The new district was named Tendring after the ancient Tendring Hundred, which was in turn named after the small village of Tendring at the centre of the area.[4]

The 1086 Domesday Book records the name as Tenderinga and in 1242 the Pipe Rolls mention it as Terring.[5]

The Tendring Poor Law Union, established in 1835, had covered the same area as the present district.[6]


Tendring District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Essex County Council. Much of the district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[7]

Political control[edit]

The council has been under no overall control since the 2023 election, being led by a coalition of independent councillors, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.[8]

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[9][10]

Party in control Years
Conservative 1974–1991
No overall control 1991–1995
Labour 1995–1999
No overall control 1999–2011
Conservative 2011–2015
No overall control 2015–present


The leaders of the council since 2009 have been:[11]

Councillor Party From To
Neil Stock[12] Conservative 2009 27 Nov 2012
Peter Halliday[13] Conservative 27 Nov 2012 13 Dec 2013
Mick Page Conservative 11 Feb 2014 10 May 2015
Neil Stock Conservative 26 May 2015 7 May 2023
Mark Stephenson Independent 23 May 2023


Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[14]

Party Councillors
Conservative 19
Independent 16
Labour 8
Liberal Democrats 4
Tendring First 1
Total 48

Of the 16 independent councillors, 10 sit with the Tendring First councillor as the "Tendring Independents" group, 5 sit as the "Independent Group", and one does not belong to any group.[15] The next election is due in 2027.


The council has its main offices and meeting place at Clacton Town Hall on Station Road. The building had been built for the former Clacton Urban District Council in 1931.[16]


Since the last boundary changes in 2019 there have been 48 councillors representing 32 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[17]


The highest part of the district is a low (115'; 35 metres) ridge running west to east only 2 miles (3 km) south of the River Stour. The greater part of the district is undulating land sloping very gently to the south which is traversed by a number of streams.

In the extreme east of the district is an area formerly known as the Soken which was granted special privileges in Saxon times. It is remembered in the place names Kirby-le-Soken, Thorpe-le-Soken and Walton-le-Soken (an older name for Walton-on-the-Naze).


Tendring district contains the most deprived part of England, in the Jaywick area. This area was ranked as the most deprived are in the government's indices of deprivation in 2010, 2015 and 2019 (being the most recent survey as at 2022).[18]


There are 27 civil parishes in the district. The former Clacton Urban District is an unparished area.[19] The parish councils of Brightlingsea, Frinton and Walton, Harwich, and Manningtree take the style "town council".[20]


Coat of arms of Tendring District
On a wreath of the colours an ancient ship Gules sail furled Proper flying flags and forked pennon of St. George and charged on the hull with three escallops Or pendent from the yardarm by chains a portcullis Or nailed and spiked Azure.
Azure on a fess between two chevrons Argent a mural crown Gules all between two flaunches Argent each charged with two bars wavy Azure surmounted of a seaxe point upwards Proper hilt and pommel Or.
Pro Bono Omnium (For The Good of All)[21]
On a roundel Azure fimbriated Argent and environed of a wreath of laurel Or a tau cross Argent.


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Tendring Local Authority (E07000076)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 5 January 2022". Tendring District Council. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  4. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  5. ^ Tendring Hundred, Survey of English Place-Names, English Place-Name Society, University of Nottingham
  6. ^ Higginbotham, Peter. "The Workhouse in Tendring, Essex". Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  8. ^ Dedman, Simon (24 May 2023). "Colchester: Power-sharing ends between Labour and Lib Dems". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Tendring". BBC News Online. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Council minutes". Tendring District Council. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  12. ^ Lodge, Will (30 December 2016). "Tendring District Council leader Neil Stock awarded an OBE in New Year's Honours list". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  13. ^ Dwan, James (28 November 2012). "Tendring Council elects new leader". Clacton Gazette. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "Council minutes, 23 May 2023". Tendring District Council. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  16. ^ "Council services and office locations". Tendring District Council. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  17. ^ "The Tendring (Electoral Changes) Order 2017", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2017/1122, retrieved 8 June 2023
  18. ^ "The English Indices of Deprivation 2019" (PDF). Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Parish Council contact details". Tendring District Council. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  21. ^ "East of England Region". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 9 March 2021.

External links[edit]

51°47′N 1°08′E / 51.783°N 1.133°E / 51.783; 1.133