West Berkshire Council

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West Berkshire Council
West Berkshire Council logo
Council logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1974
Leadership
Chairman of the Council
Cllr Carol Jackson-Doerge, Conservative
since 9 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Graham Jones, Conservative
since 9 May 2017
Structure
Seats52 councillors
West Berkshire Council composition
Political groups
Administration
     Conservative (47)
Other parties
     Liberal Democrat (5)
Committees
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Plurality-at-large
Last election
7 May 2015
Next election
2 May 2019
Meeting place
Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury
Website
West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council is the local authority of West Berkshire in Berkshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. West Berkshire is divided into 30 wards, electing 52 councillors.[2] The council was created by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council and replaced five local authorities: Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. On 1 April 1998 it was renamed West Berkshire Council and since then has been a unitary authority, assuming the powers and functions of Berkshire County Council. In the 2015 election the Conservatives won 48 out of 52 seats. The next election to the authority will be in 2019.

History[edit]

The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council. It replaced Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the District of Newbury on 1 April 1974.

It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Newbury as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with the Berkshire County Council. This arrangement lasted until 1998 when Berkshire County Council was abolished and the renamed Newbury District Council, now West Berkshire Council, gained responsibility for services that had been provided by the county council.

Politics[edit]

West Berkshire Council is elected every four years, with currently 52 councillors being elected at each election. From the first election to the unitary authority in 1997 to the 2003 election the Liberal Democrats had a majority and they then kept control with the chairman's casting vote until 2005. In 2005 the Conservative party gained a majority, which they have held since. The council composition is:

Political group Councillors
2015 Current
Conservative 48 47
Liberal Democrat 4 5
Total 52 52

References[edit]