Stratford-on-Avon District
River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon
Shown within Warwickshire
Shown within Warwickshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
Administrative countyWarwickshire
Admin. HQStratford-upon-Avon
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district
 • MPs:Nadhim Zahawi (C)
Jeremy Wright (C)
 • Total378 sq mi (978 km2)
 • Rank27th
 • Total138,583
 • RankRanked 169th
 • Density370/sq mi (140/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code44UE (ONS)
E07000221 (GSS)

Stratford-on-Avon is a local government district in Warwickshire, England. The district is named after its largest town of Stratford-upon-Avon, but with a change of preposition; the town uses "upon" and the district uses "on". The council is based in Stratford-upon-Avon and the district, which is predominantly rural, also includes the towns of Alcester, Shipston-on-Stour and Southam, and the large villages of Bidford-on-Avon, Studley and Wellesbourne, plus numerous other smaller villages and hamlets and surrounding rural areas. The district covers the more sparsely populated southern part of Warwickshire, and contains nearly half the county's area. The district includes part of the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The neighbouring districts are Rugby and Warwick in Warwickshire, Solihull in the West Midlands, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wychavon in Worcestershire, Cotswold in Gloucestershire, West Oxfordshire and Cherwell in Oxfordshire, and West Northamptonshire.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The new district covered the area of five former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[2]

The new district was named Stratford-on-Avon after its main town, but using the "Stratford-on-Avon" variant of the name, which had also been used for the rural district which had covered the parishes surrounding the town.[3][4]

Proposals to merge the district with neighbouring Warwick District were put forward and provisionally agreed, before eventually being abandoned in April 2022.[5][6]


Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Victoria Alcock,
Liberal Democrat
since 24 May 2023[7]
Susan Juned,
Liberal Democrat
since 24 May 2023
David Buckland
since June 2019[8]
Seats41 councillors
Political groups
Administration (25)
  Liberal Democrats (25)
Other parties (16)
  Conservative (12)
  Green (3)
  Independent (1)
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HX

Stratford-on-Avon District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Warwickshire County Council.[9] The whole district is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[10]

Political control

The council has been under Liberal Democrat majority control since the 2023 election.[11]

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing councils before coming into its powers on 1 April 1974. Since 1974 political control of the council has been as follows:[12][13][14]

Party in control Years
Independent 1974–1976
No overall control 1976–1979
Conservative 1979–1991
No overall control 1991–1992
Conservative 1992–1994
No overall control 1994–2000
Conservative 2000–2002
No overall control 2002–2003
Conservative 2003–2023
Liberal Democrats 2023–present


The leaders of the council since 2000 have been:[15]

Councillor Party From To
Bob Stevens[16] Conservative 2000 2003
Chris Saint Conservative 2003 2005
Les Topham[17] Conservative 2005 9 May 2010
Stephen Gray Conservative 19 May 2010 18 May 2011
Chris Saint Conservative 18 May 2011 16 May 2018
Tony Jefferson Conservative 16 May 2018 7 May 2023
Susan Juned Liberal Democrats 24 May 2023


Following the 2023 election the composition of the council was:[18]

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrats 25
Conservative 12
Green 3
Independent 1
Total 41

The next election is due in 2027.


See also: Stratford-on-Avon District Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2023 the council has comprised 41 councillors representing 39 wards, with each ward electing one or two councillors. Elections are held every four years.[19]


The council is based at Elizabeth House on Church Street in Stratford.[20] The oldest part of the building was a house at 15 Church Street, built in 1911 as "Maugersbury House". The house was bought in 1920 by NFU Mutual and converted to be their offices. It was later extended in a similar style along Church Street in 1927 and 1957. The NFU left the building in 1982, after which it was bought by the council and converted to become their offices and meeting place, replacing the five sets of offices inherited from the council's predecessor authorities.[21] The building was formally re-opened as the council's headquarters on 19 April 1985 by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, when it was named "Elizabeth House" in recognition of her visit.[22]

Towns and parishes

Southam, the district's second largest town.
Shipston-on-Stour, another of the district's towns.

See also: List of civil parishes in Warwickshire

Stratford-on-Avon population pyramid

The whole district is covered by civil parishes, of which there are 113. The parish councils for Alcester, Shipston-on-Stour, Southam and Stratford-upon-Avon have declared their parishes to be towns, allowing them to take the style "town council". Some of the smaller parishes have a parish meeting rather than a parish council or share a grouped parish council with neighbouring parishes. Henley-in-Arden and Studley are both post towns, but have parish councils rather than town councils.[23]

The parishes are:[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Stratford-on-Avon Local Authority (E07000221)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 31 May 2023
  4. ^ "Warwickshire: Diagram showing administrative boundaries, 1972". National Library of Scotland. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Plans to merge Warwick and Stratford District Councils into single 'mega authority' have been scrapped". Warwickshireworld. Leamington Courier. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon councils merger plans scrapped". BBC News. 21 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Council minutes, 24 May 2023". Stratford-on-Avon District Council. 24 May 2023. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  8. ^ "New chief exec ready to take on challenges faced by Stratford District Council". Stratford Observer. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  10. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  11. ^ "Lib Dems win Stratford-on-Avon council from Conservatives". BBC News. 5 May 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  12. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Stratford-On-Avon". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  14. ^ "Tories slump after leadership row". London. 8 November 2002. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  15. ^ "Council minutes". Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  16. ^ Lugg, Ben (6 August 2020). "Tributes paid to former district council leader Bob Stevens". Stratford-upon-Avon Herald. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  17. ^ Lugg, Ben (4 February 2021). "Tributes paid to former Stratford District Council leader Les Topham". Stratford-upon-Avon Herald. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  18. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  19. ^ "The Stratford-on-Avon (Electoral Changes) Order 2022",, The National Archives, SI 2022/1137, retrieved 22 January 2024
  20. ^ "Contact the council". Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  21. ^ "Elizabeth House: Stratford-on-Avon District Council's new offices". Stratford-upon-Avon Herald. 26 April 1985. pp. 12–13. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Sunshine, smiles and cheers for Queen Mother". Stratford-upon-Avon Herald. 26 April 1985. p. 1. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  23. ^ "Parish Council contact details". Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  24. ^ "Stratford-on-Avon District - parishes". City Population. Retrieved 22 January 2024.

52°11′25″N 1°42′31″W / 52.1902°N 1.7087°W / 52.1902; -1.7087