East Cambridgeshire District
Ely, known for both its Cathedral and its historic Isle of Ely region. It is the largest settlement in the district and its administrative centre.
Ely, known for both its Cathedral and its historic Isle of Ely region. It is the largest settlement in the district and its administrative centre.
East Cambridgeshire shown within Cambridgeshire
East Cambridgeshire shown within Cambridgeshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyCambridgeshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQEly
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyEast Cambridgeshire District Council
 • LeadershipAlternative - Sec. 31 (Conservative)
 • MPsSteve Barclay
Lucy Frazer
 • Total251.5 sq mi (651.3 km2)
 • Rank62nd (of 314)
 • Total87,762
 • Rank276th (of 314)
 • Density350/sq mi (130/km2)
 • Ethnicity
95.9% White
1.0% S.Asian
1.1% Mixed
1.8% Chinese or Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code12UC (ONS)
E07000009 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTL535799

East Cambridgeshire (locally known as East Cambs) is a local government district in Cambridgeshire, England. Its council is based in the city of Ely. The district also contains the towns of Littleport and Soham and surrounding rural areas, including parts of the Fens.

Since 2017 the district has been a constituent member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, led by the directly elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.[3]

The neighbouring districts are South Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Fenland, King's Lynn and West Norfolk and West Suffolk.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The new district covered the area of three former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[4]

The new district was named East Cambridgeshire, reflecting its position within the wider county.[5]


East Cambridgeshire District Council
Mark Goldsack,
since 25 May 2023
Anna Bailey,
since 30 May 2019
John Hill
since 2000
Political groups
  Conservative (15)
  Liberal Democrats (13)
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
Meeting place
The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE

East Cambridgeshire District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Cambridgeshire County Council. The whole district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[6]

Political control

The council has been under Conservative control since 2007.

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:[7][8]

Party in control Years
Independent 1974–1999
Liberal Democrats 1999–2003
No overall control 2003–2007
Conservative 2007–present


The leaders of the council since 2011 have been:[9]

Councillor Party From To
Peter Moakes Conservative 24 May 2011 14 May 2013
James Palmer Conservative 14 May 2013 May 2017
Charles Roberts Conservative 25 May 2017 5 May 2019
Anna Bailey Conservative 30 May 2019


Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[10]

Party Councillors
Conservative 15
Liberal Democrats 13
Total 28

The next election is due in 2027.


The council is based at The Grange on Nutholt Lane in Ely. The building was originally a large Victorian house. It served as a maternity hospital from the 1940s until the 1970s. The building was acquired around the time East Cambridgeshire was created in 1974 and converted to offices. Several large extensions have since been added.[11]


See also: East Cambridgeshire District Council elections

Since the last full review of boundaries in 2019 the council has comprised 28 councillors, representing 14 wards. Elections are held every four years.[12]


See also: Civil parishes in Cambridgeshire

The whole district is divided into civil parishes. The parish of Ely holds city status, and the parish councils for Soham and Littleport take the style "town council".[13]


The Fenland Survey of archaeological finds carried out in the 1980s mentions an enumeration of findings made between 1884 and 1994 in the region to the north of Devil's Dyke and Cambridge, from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age (the region south of Devil's Dyke is not yet included in the survey). By far the greatest quantities of bronze objects found in England were discovered in East Cambridgeshire.

The most important Bronze Age finds were discovered in Isleham (more than 6500 pieces), Stuntney, Soham, Wicken, Chippenham, Coveney, Mepal and Wilburton. These findings include swords, spear-heads, arrows, axes, palstaves, knives, daggers, rapiers, armour, decorative equipment (in particular for horses) and many fragments of sheet bronze. The greater part of these objects have been entrusted to the Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds while other items are in the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. Other finds include traces of cremations and barrows, golden torques, an extensive ditch system and a wooden track-way between Fordey Farm (Barway) and Little Thetford.[14] Bronze razors have also been found and it is well known that Celts shaved their cheeks.[15]

Settlements in East Cambridgeshire

Soham, one of the district's towns.

See also


  1. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 2021". Office for National Statistics. 2 November 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  3. ^ "The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Order 2017", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2017/251, retrieved 13 June 2023
  4. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  5. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  6. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  7. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  8. ^ "East Cambridgeshire". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Council minutes". East Cambridgeshire District Council. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Ely". Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  12. ^ "The East Cambridgeshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2016", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2016/1230, retrieved 14 June 2023
  13. ^ "Parish Councils". East Cambridgeshire District Council. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  14. ^ Hall, David (1994). Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence / David Hall and John Coles. London;English Heritage. pp. 81–88. ISBN 1-85074-477-7.
  15. ^ Hall, David (1994). Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence / David Hall and John Coles. London;English Heritage. p. 4. ISBN 1-85074-477-7.

52°23′13″N 0°17′38″E / 52.387°N 0.294°E / 52.387; 0.294