Hampshire County Council
|Founded||1 April 1889|
since 19 July 2021 
|Seats||78 councillors |
Length of term
|First past the post|
|6 May 2021|
|Castle Hill, Winchester|
|Hampshire County Council - The Constitution|
Hampshire County Council (HCC) is an English council that governs eleven of the thirteen districts geographically located within the ceremonial county of Hampshire. As one of twenty-four county councils in England, it acts as the upper tier of local government to approximately 1.4 million people.
Whilst they form part of the ceremonial county of Hampshire, the city councils of Southampton and Portsmouth are independent unitary authorities. The council comprises 78 elected councillors, who meet in the city of Winchester, which is the county town.
Since 1997, the council has been controlled by the Conservative Party. In May 2022, Rob Humby was elected as leader of the council.
In 1889, following the commencement of the Local Government Act 1888, the administrative county of Hampshire was formed. In 1974, the towns of Christchurch and Bournemouth were transferred to Dorset by the Local Government Act 1972; this occurred alongside a number of minor changes to the council's boundaries. Under the same local government reorganisation, various boroughs, urban and rural districts were reorganised into thirteen new districts. As part of a new two-tier arrangement of local government, these new districts formed the lower tier.
Following the grant of a coat of arms in 1992 (see left), the Local Government Act 1992 formed the Local Government Commission for England. In 1997, the commission formed the unitary authorities of Southampton and Portsmouth which became independent of Hampshire County Council. Since the most recent local government changes, the council have made several attempts to form a devolution deal. In 2014 the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association unanimously agreed to support a 'pan-Hampshire bid', however, the bid was eventually unsuccessful.
The council is responsible for public services such as:
Hampshire is divided into thirteen districts, with eleven of them lying within Hampshire County Council. Italics denote unitary authorities, who do not come under Hampshire County Council:
Main article: Hampshire County Council elections
The most recent Hampshire County Council elections were held on 6 May 2021. The Conservatives retained overall control of the council, taking 56 of the 78 seats on the council. The Liberal Democrats are the largest opposition group, with 17 seats.
From 1973 Hampshire County Council has either been under no overall control or Conservative control, with the council currently having been under Conservative control since 1997. The next county council election is due in 2025.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)