Borough of Stafford
Bridge Street in Stafford, the borough's main town.
Bridge Street in Stafford, the borough's main town.
Stafford shown within Staffordshire
Stafford shown within Staffordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
Non-metropolitan countyStaffordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQStafford
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyStafford Borough Council
 • MPsBill Cash
Theodora Clarke
 • Total231.0 sq mi (598.2 km2)
 • Rank59th (of 296)
 • Total137,231
 • Rank167th (of 296)
 • Density590/sq mi (230/km2)
 • Ethnicity
97.4% White
1.0% S.Asian
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code41UG (ONS)
E07000197 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSJ9213623094

The Borough of Stafford is a local government district with borough status in Staffordshire, England. It is named after Stafford, its largest town, which is where the council is based. The borough also includes the towns of Stone and Eccleshall, as well as numerous villages and surrounding rural areas.

The neighbouring districts are Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Cannock Chase, South Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire.


The town of Stafford was an ancient borough, being described as a borough in the Domesday Book of 1086.[1] Its earliest surviving charter was issued by King John in 1206.[2] Stafford was formally incorporated in 1614 by a charter from James I, which also granted the right to appoint a mayor.[3]

The borough was reformed in 1836 to become a municipal borough under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which reformed many boroughs across the country. As part of those reforms the borough was enlarged to include the Forebridge area on the south bank of the River Sow, which had been added to the Stafford parliamentary borough (constituency) in 1832.[4][5] The municipal borough was subsequently enlarged several times to take in the town's growing suburbs, notably in 1917 when it gained areas including Tillington, and in 1934 when it gained areas including Baswich.[6]

The modern district was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 covering four former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[7]

The new district was named Stafford after its largest town.[8] Stafford's borough status transferred to the new district from its creation, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor, continuing Stafford's series of mayors dating back to 1614.[9]

Many of the new borough's parishes had been within the historic Hundred of Pirehill.


Stafford Borough Council
Andy Cooper,
since 13 May 2023[10]
Aidan Godfrey,
since 13 May 2023
Tim Clegg
since 2016[11]
Seats40 councillors
Political groups
Administration (25)
  Labour (13)
  Borough Ind. (7)
  Green (5)
Other parties (15)
  Conservative (14)
  Liberal Democrats (1)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ

Stafford Borough Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Staffordshire County Council. Much of the borough is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[12][13]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since 2022. Following the 2023 election a coalition of Labour, the Greens and local party the Stafford Borough Independents formed to take control of the council, led by Labour councillor Aidan Godfrey.[14]

The first elections to the enlarged borough council were 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:[15]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1995
Labour 1995–1999
No overall control 1999–2003
Conservative 2003–2022
No overall control 2022–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Stafford. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1974 have been:[16]

Councillor Party From To
Walter Dean[17][18] Conservative 1 Apr 1974 Jul 1991
Mike Heenan[19][20] Conservative Sep 1991 13 Dec 1994
Walter Dean[21][22][23] Conservative 13 Dec 1994 May 1995
Jack Kemp[24][25] Labour May 1995 12 May 2003
Judith Dalgarno[26][27] Conservative 12 May 2003 2009
Mike Heenan[28] Conservative 2009 20 Jan 2015
Patrick Farrington[29] Conservative 3 Feb 2015 7 May 2023
Aidan Godfrey Labour 13 May 2023


Following the 2023 election the composition of the council was:[30]

Party Councillors
Conservative 14
Labour 13
Stafford Borough Independents 7
Green 5
Liberal Democrats 1
Total 40

The next election is due in 2027.


See also: Stafford Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2015 the council has comprised 40 councillors representing 23 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[31]


The council is based at the Civic Centre on Riverside in the centre of Stafford. The building was purpose-built for the council and completed in 1978.[32][33] Full council meetings are held at County Buildings on Martin Street.[34] Prior to the completion of the Civic Centre in 1978 the council had its main offices at Borough Hall and met at the Guildhall in Market Square, which had been built in 1935 on the site of an earlier guildhall.[35][36] Borough Hall was subsequently converted into an events venue and the Guildhall was converted into a shopping centre, being largely rebuilt behind the 1935 frontage.

Towns and parishes

The Trent and Mersey Canal at Stone, the district's second largest town.
Eccleshall, the borough's other town.

See also: List of civil parishes in Staffordshire

The main part of the Stafford urban area, roughly corresponding to the pre-1974 borough, is an unparished area. Nearly half the modern borough's population lives in this area.[37] The rest of the borough is divided into civil parishes. The parish council for Stone has declared that parish to be a town, allowing it to take the style "town council". Eccleshall is also commonly described as a town, having held a market charter from at least 1154, but its parish council has not formally declared it to be a town, nor is it a post town. The small parishes of Ellenhall and Marston have a parish meeting rather than a parish council.[38]

The parishes are:


  1. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Milwich
  2. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Weston
  3. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Tixall
  4. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Fradswell
  5. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Ingestre
  6. ^ Shares grouped parish council with Gayton
  1. ^ Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Municipal Corporations in England and Wales: Appendix 3. 1835. p. 2025. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  2. ^ The Royal Charters and Letters Patent Granted to the Burgesses of Stafford, A.D. 1206–1828. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  3. ^ "History of Stafford". Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  4. ^ Municipal Corporations Act. 1835. p. 458. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  5. ^ Parliamentary Boundaries Act. 1832. p. 359. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Stafford Civil Parish". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  7. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan District (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 17 November 2023
  8. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  9. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Council minutes, 13 May 2023" (PDF). Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  11. ^ Calkin, Sarah (27 July 2016). "Borough appoints new chief". Local Government Chronicle. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  13. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  14. ^ Madeley, Peter (16 May 2023). "New council leader to bring 'positive change' to Stafford after Labour gains". Express and Star. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Council minutes". Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  17. ^ "We'll pay less than some". Staffordshire Newsletter. Stafford. 29 March 1974. p. 6. Retrieved 16 September 2022. ...the leader of the new council, Councillor Walter Dean...
  18. ^ Elliot, Amanda (18 July 1991). "Heenan tipped to take over as Tories' leader". Stafford Post. p. 2. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  19. ^ "New leader". Stafford Post. 12 September 1991. p. 19. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  20. ^ "Tories urged to elect newcomer". Staffordshire Newsletter. Stafford. 9 December 1994. p. 15. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  21. ^ "Veteran Tory set for return". Staffordshire Newsletter. Stafford. 2 December 1994. p. 1. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  22. ^ "New Tory leader". Staffordshire Newsletter. Stafford. 16 December 1994. p. 7. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  23. ^ "Labour sweep into power". Staffordshire Newsletter. Stafford. 5 May 1995. p. 1. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Jobs vow by new leader". Evening Sentinel. Stoke-on-Trent. 6 May 1995. p. 4. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  25. ^ "Cabinet minutes, 4 March 2003" (PDF). Stafford Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  26. ^ "Council minutes, 12 May 2003" (PDF). Stafford Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  27. ^ Ashdown, Kerry (9 April 2020). "Tributes paid to popular shopkeeper and former council leader". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  28. ^ "Stafford Borough Council leader Mike Heenan 'to step down'". BBC News. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  29. ^ "Councillor Patrick M. M. Farrington". Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  30. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  31. ^ "The Stafford (Electoral Changes) Order 2015",, The National Archives, SI 2015/69, retrieved 29 December 2023
  32. ^ "Construction Site for Stafford Borough Council Offices, Riverside, Stafford". Staffordshire Past Track. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  33. ^ "No. 47702". The London Gazette. 1 December 1948. p. 14484.
  34. ^ "Council agenda, 20 November 2023" (PDF). Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  35. ^ Pullan, W. A., ed. (1976). Municipal Year Book. London: Municipal Journal. p. 890.
  36. ^ "Opening of Stafford's New Guildhall". Stafford Newsletter. 27 July 1935. pp. Supplement pages 1–4. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  37. ^ "Stafford". City Population. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  38. ^ "Parish Councils and clerks". Stafford Borough Council. Retrieved 30 December 2023.

52°48′18.05″N 2°6′59.99″W / 52.8050139°N 2.1166639°W / 52.8050139; -2.1166639