Welwyn Hatfield
Hatfield House
Official logo of Welwyn Hatfield
Welwyn Hatfield shown within Hertfordshire
Welwyn Hatfield shown within Hertfordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast of England
Non-metropolitan countyHertfordshire
Admin HQWelwyn Garden City
Incorporated1 April 1974
Named forWelwyn (village) and Hatfield (town)
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
 • MPTo be decided
 • Total50.02 sq mi (129.55 km2)
 • Rank176th (of 296)
 • Total120,213
 • Rank197th (of 296)
 • Density2,400/sq mi (930/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code26UL (ONS)
E07000241 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTL245135

Welwyn Hatfield is a local government district with borough status in the county of Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Welwyn Garden City. The borough borders Hertsmere, St Albans, North Hertfordshire, East Hertfordshire, Broxbourne, and the London Borough of Enfield.

The borough includes the two towns of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, along with numerous smaller settlements from Woolmer Green in the north to Cuffley in the south. The borough has six railway stations on the Great Northern Railway; five being on the main line and one on the Hertford loop line. The Digswell Viaduct is a local landmark. The A1 road passes through the borough.

Much of the borough lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt which surrounds London. Welwyn Garden City is notable as being one of only two Garden Cities in the country, and is uniquely both a Garden City and a designated New Town. The University of Hertfordshire has its main campus at Hatfield.


Welwyn Hatfield was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the area of three former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[2]

The new district was named Welwyn Hatfield.[3] From 1974 to 2006 the council was called Welwyn Hatfield District Council. The council petitioned for borough status in 2005, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor. The petition was agreed to by the Privy Council and a charter conferring borough status was issued which took effect on 22 May 2006, when John Hawkins was appointed the first mayor and the council's name changed to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.[4]


Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Frank Marsh,
Liberal Democrat
since 20 May 2024[5]
Max Holloway,
since 20 May 2024[6][7]
Ka Ng
since July 2021[8]
Political groups
Administration (36)
  Labour (20)
  Liberal Democrats (16)

Opposition (12)

  Conservatives (12)
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE

Hertfordshire has a two-tier structure of local government, with the ten district councils (including Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council) providing district-level services, and Hertfordshire County Council providing county-level services.[9]

Political control

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new system came into force on 1 April 1974. Political control since 1974 has been as follows:[10][11]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
Labour 1979–1992
Conservative 1992–1994
Labour 1994–1999
Conservative 1999–2000
Labour 2000–2002
Conservative 2002–2019
No overall control 2019–2021
Conservative 2021–2023
No overall control 2023–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Welwyn Hatfield, and is usually held by a different councillor each year. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2005 have been:[12]

Councillor Party From To
John Dean Conservative May 2005 6 May 2018
Mandy Perkins Conservative 21 May 2018 29 Sep 2018
Tony Kingsbury Conservative 19 Nov 2018 22 May 2023
Paul Zukowskyj Liberal Democrats 22 May 2023 20 May 2024
Max Holloway Labour 20 May 2024


Following the 2024 local elections the composition of the council is as follows:[13][14]

Party Councillors
Labour 20
Liberal Democrats 16
Conservative 12
Total 48

Since the 2023 local elections the council has been under no overall control. While at the time Conservatives were the largest party, the Liberal Democrats and Labour formed a coalition to take control of the council, with Liberal Democrat group leader Paul Zukowskyj becoming leader of the council and Labour group leader Lynn Chesterman becoming deputy leader of the council.[15] The joint administration continued after the 2024 local elections when Labour became the party with the most seats on the council.

The next elections are due to be held in 2026, where a third of the council's seats will be up for election.


The council is based at the Council Offices on The Campus in the centre of Welwyn Garden City, which it inherited from the old Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council. The building was completed in 1937.[16]

Towns and Parishes

Welwyn Hatfield contains eight civil parishes. The town of Welwyn Garden City is an unparished area. The parishes are:


See also: Welwyn Hatfield local elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2016 the council has comprised 48 councillors representing 16 wards, each of which elects three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, electing one councillor from each ward each time. Elections to Hertfordshire County Council are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no borough council elections.[17]


The wards of the borough are:[17]

Wider politics

The borough boundary differs from Welwyn Hatfield parliamentary constituency only by the single ward of Northaw and Cuffley being within the borough, but in the parliamentary constituency of Broxbourne. All other Welwyn Hatfield wards are the same for Borough and Constituency. Since 2005 Welwyn Hatfield Constituency has been represented by Conservative Grant Shapps.


Coat of arms of Welwyn Hatfield
Granted 11 February 1976 [18]
On a Wreath of the Colours within a Circlet of eight Roses Gules each charged with another Argent barbed and seeded proper a Garb Or between two Wings displayed Azure.
Or a Fess wavy between in chief a Bar wavy Azure surmounted of two Willow Trees couped and in base an Oak Tree couped fructed proper.
On either side a Hart Royal proper that on the dexter charged on the shoulder with two Pairs of Dividers in fess inverted and extended the interior points contiguous Argent and that on the sinister with a representation of a Roman Wine Jar Or within a Cage Sable.
By Wisdom And Design
On a Bezant environed of a Torse Or and Azure two Pallets Azure surmounted of a Bar dancetty of two points downward counter-changed.


  1. ^ Parish council takes the style of "town council".
  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Welwyn Hatfield Local Authority (E07000241)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 12 May 2023
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 12 May 2023
  4. ^ "Orders in Council: Meeting 15 November 2005". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  5. ^ "New Cabinet Line-up and Joint Administration Announced". One Welwyn Hatfield. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  6. ^ "New Cabinet Line-up and Joint Administration Announced". One Welwyn Hatfield. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  7. ^ Mountney, Dan (16 May 2024). "New Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council leader announced". Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  8. ^ "Council minutes, 14 July 2021" (PDF). Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 3 March 2023
  10. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Welwyn Hatfield". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  12. ^ "Council minutes". Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Welwyn Hatfield election result". BBC News. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  14. ^ "Make up of the council". Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  15. ^ "Joint Administration and Cabinet line-up announced". Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. 19 May 2023. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  16. ^ "New Council Offices". Hertfordshire Mercury. Hertford. 8 January 1937. p. 7.
  17. ^ a b "The Welwyn Hatfield (Electoral Changes) Order 2016", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2016/116, retrieved 12 May 2023
  18. ^ "WELWYN HATFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL (HERTS)". Robert Young. Retrieved 30 October 2019.

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