Central Bedfordshire Council is the local authority for the Central Bedfordshire unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created from the merger of Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire District Councils and Bedfordshire County Council on 1 April 2009.[1]

Central Bedfordshire Council
Founded1 April 2009
Preceded byBedfordshire County Council
District councils
  • Mid Bedfordshire District Council
  • South Bedfordshire District Council
Leader of the Council
Cllr Richard Wenham, Conservative
Chair of the Council
Cllr Brian Saunders
Chief Executive
Marcel Coiffait
Seats59 councillors
Political groups
  Conservative (39)
Other parties
  Independent (16)
  Liberal Democrat (3)
  Labour (1)
Joint committees
East of England Local Government Association
Last election
2 May 2019
Next election
May 2023

How the council funds local services

For the financial year 2021-2022 the council will spend £440.3m on providing services, the majority of which (£226m) comes from council tax and business rates. Information on funding available from the Info Central booklet.

Central Bedfordshire 2050 - a great place to live and work

The Vision for Central Bedfordshire is that it will continue to be a great place to live and work...a place to prosper, a place to be proud of and a place to call home.

At its Thursday 12 November 2020 meeting, Full Council voted overwhelmingly to adopt Vision 2050 – setting our sense of our direction and where we want to be in 30 years' time.

Read more on the Central Bedfordshire 2050 website.

Council's current composition

Party Councillors
Conservatives 39
Independents 16
Liberal Democrats 3
Labour 1
Total: 59
Source: Political Control

Administrative history

The county council of Bedfordshire was abolished on 1 April 2009. The term of office of councillors of Bedfordshire County Council and of Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire District Councils ended on 1 April 2009. A new unitary council from that date to be known as Central Bedfordshire Council, was created for the same area as the existing districts of Mid and South Bedfordshire. There was to be no county council for the new county.[2]


Central Bedfordshire Council is made up of 59 Councillors.

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat Independent Control
2009[3][4] 54 0 11 1 Conservative
2011[5][6] 49 1 5 4 Conservative
2015[7] 53 2 1 3 Conservative
2019[8] 41 1 3 13 Conservative

On 7 October 2020, former UKIP councillor Patrick Hamill became Independent. Similarly, two former Conservative councillors – Nicola Harris and Steven Watkins – became Independent on 29 November and 17 December 2021 respectively.

Leader of the Council

Councillor Richard Wenham[9] was elected as the new Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council at the first Full Council[10] meeting of 2021, on 14 January 2021.

Councillor Wenham is the third leader of the unitary authority, which was created in 2009 and he succeeds Councillor James Jamieson, who had been Leader since 2011.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/907/note/made Archived 5 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine - The Bedfordshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008
  3. ^ "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results by party, 4 June 2009". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Election 2009 | Central Bedfordshire council". BBC News. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 28 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. ^ "BBC News - Election 2011 - England council elections - Central Bedfordshire". BBC News. 10 May 2011. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Central Bedfordshire Council: Election results". Centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 28 September 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Councillors, political control, constitution and webcasting - Political control". Central Bedfordshire Council.
  9. ^ "New political leadership for Central Bedfordshire Council". Central Bedfordshire Council. 15 Jan 2021.
  10. ^ "Council - meetings and agendas". Central Bedfordshire Council.