|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||East of England|
|Incorporated||1 April 1974|
|• Type||Non-metropolitan district council|
|• Body||Rochford District Council|
|• Leadership||Alternative - Sec. 31 (Liberal Democrats / Rochford Residents / Independent / Green)|
|• MPs||James Duddridge|
|• Total||65.44 sq mi (169.49 km2)|
|• Rank||171st (of 314)|
|• Rank||280th (of 314)|
|• Density||1,300/sq mi (510/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||96.5% White|
|Time zone||UTC0 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|ONS code||22UL (ONS)|
|OS grid reference|
Rochford is a local government district in Essex, England. It is named after one of its main settlements, Rochford, where the council is based. The largest town in the district is Rayleigh. Other places in the district include Hockley, Ashingdon, Great Wakering, Canewdon and Hullbridge. The district wraps around the north of the city of Southend-on-Sea, with Southend Airport falling within the district. Most of the built-up areas are in the west of the district along the Shenfield to Southend Victoria railway. The eastern part of the district is more sparsely populated and has a stretch of coast at Foulness Island.
The neighbouring districts are Southend-on-Sea, Castle Point, Basildon, Chelmsford and Maldon.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the whole area of two former districts, which were abolished at the same time:
Rochford District Council
since 23 May 2023
since 23 May 2023
since 1 August 2021
|4 May 2023|
|Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW|
Rochford District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Essex County Council. The district is also entirely covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.
The council has been under no overall control since the 2023 election, being led by a coalition of the Liberal Democrats, Rochford Residents, Green Party and independents.
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:
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||1974–1976|
|No overall control||1990–1994|
|No overall control||1998–2002|
|No overall control||2023–present|
The leaders of the council since 2004 have been:
|Terry Cutmore||Conservative||22 Jun 2004||14 May 2019|
|Mike Steptoe||Conservative||14 May 2019||9 Jul 2020|
|Simon Wootton||Conservative||9 Jul 2020||23 May 2023|
|John Mason||Rochford Resident||23 May 2023|
Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:
Of the eight independent councillors, four form the "Independent and Green" group with the Green councillor, three form the "Rochford District Independents" group and the other does not belong to a group. The next election is due in 2024.
The council has its main offices on South Street in Rochford. When the council was created it inherited the former Rochford Rural District Council's offices at Roche House, 7 South Street, Rochford and the former Rayleigh Urban District Council's offices at Barringtons, 2 Hockley Road, Rayleigh. Both buildings were converted houses. The council acquired other properties along South Street in Rochford and combined them with Roche House to form the council's headquarters. The council used a modern extension to Barringtons in Rayleigh as an area office and civic suite, containing the council chamber, until 2023 when the building was closed.
See also: Rochford District Council elections
Since the last boundary changes in 2016 the council has comprised 39 councillors representing 13 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four for a third of the council at a time. Elections to Essex County Council are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no district council elections.
The district is divided into 14 civil parishes. The parish council for Rayleigh takes the style "town council".