The district took its name from Vale Royal Abbey, formerly one of the largest in England, which was situated near the village of Whitegate near the centre of the district. The name was suggested in 1972 by a joint committee of the previous district councils, on the basis of the historic use of the name for the general area of the new district. The district was granted borough status on 5 May 1988, allowing the chairman of the council to take the title of mayor.
The first elections to the council were held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council from 1974 until its abolition in 2009 was held by the following parties:
The political composition of the council at its abolition in 2009 was:
Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford: Council headquarters 1990–2009
Until 1990 the council operated from the various offices it had inherited from its predecessors, being Whitehall in Hartford (from Northwich Rural District Council), the Council House in Northwich (from Northwich Urban District Council), Castle Park House in Frodsham (from Runcorn Rural District Council), and Over Hall in Winsford (from Winsford Urban District Council). In 1990 the council consolidated its offices into a new purpose-built headquarters called Wyvern House on The Drumber in Winsford. Wyvern House was formally opened by Princess Margaret on 19 July 1991. Since the council's abolition in 2009, Wyvern House has been used as one of the offices of its successor, Cheshire West and Chester Council.
1973 Vale Royal District Council election
1976 Vale Royal District Council election (New ward boundaries)
1979 Vale Royal District Council election
1983 Vale Royal District Council election (District boundary changes took place but the number of seats remained the same)
1987 Vale Royal District Council election
1991 Vale Royal Borough Council election (Borough boundary changes took place but the number of seats remained the same)
1995 Vale Royal Borough Council election
1999 Vale Royal Borough Council election (New ward boundaries)