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West Berkshire Council
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1974
Leadership
Chair of the Council
Cllr Clive Hooker, Conservative
since 4 May 2021
Leader of the Council
Cllr Lynne Doherty, Conservative
since 24 May 2019
Deputy Leader of the Council
Cllr Graham Bridgman, Conservative
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Lee Dillon, Liberal Democrat
Chief Executive
Nigel Lynn
since 18 October 2021
Structure
Seats43 councillors
Political groups
Administration (24)
  •   Conservative (24)
Other parties (19)
Committees
10
  • Overview and Scrutiny Management
  • Health Scrutiny
  • Resource Management Working Group
  • Licensing
  • District Planning
  • Eastern Area Planning
  • Western Area Planning
  • Governance and Audit
  • Personnel
  • Standards[1]
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Plurality-at-large
Last election
2 May 2019
Next election
2023
Meeting place
Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury
Website
West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council is the local authority of West Berkshire in Berkshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. West Berkshire is divided into 30 wards, electing 52 councillors.[2] The council was created by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council and replaced five local authorities: Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. On 1 April 1998 it was renamed West Berkshire Council and since then has been a unitary authority, assuming the powers and functions of Berkshire County Council within the district. In the 2015 election the Conservatives won 48 out of 52 seats. In 2019, they won 24 out of 43 seats, losing half of their councillors.

History

The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council. It replaced Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the District of Newbury on 1 April 1974.

It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Newbury as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with Berkshire County Council. This arrangement lasted until 1998 when Berkshire County Council was abolished and the renamed Newbury District Council, now West Berkshire Council, gained responsibility for services that had been provided by the county council.

Politics

See also: West Berkshire Council elections

West Berkshire Council is elected every four years, with, currently, 43 councillors being elected at each election. From the first election to the unitary authority in 1997 to the 2003 election the Liberal Democrats had a majority and they then kept control with the chairman's casting vote until 2005.

In 2005 the Conservative party gained a majority, which they have held since.

In the 2019 United Kingdom local elections the Conservatives lost councillors, though retaining their majority, whilst the Liberal Democrats made significant gains and the Green Party also made gains.

Composition

The council composition is:

Political group Councillors
2011 2015 2019 Current
Conservative 39 48 24 24
Liberal Democrat 13 4 16 16
Green Party 0 0 3 3
Total 52 52 43[3] 43

Executive

Post Councillor Ward
Leader of the Council
Portfolio Holder for District Strategy and Communications
Cllr. Lynne Doherty Newbury Speen
Deputy Leader of the Council
Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing
Cllr. Graham Bridgman Burghfield & Mortimer
Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care Cllr. Joanne Stewart Tilehurst Birch Copse
Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education Cllr. Dominic Boeck Aldermaston
Portfolio Holder for Environment and Waste Cllr. Steve Ardagh-Walter Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham
Portfolio Holder for Finance and Economic Development Cllr. Ross Mackinnon Bradfield
Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance, Leisure and Culture Cllr. Howard Woollaston Lambourn
Portfolio Holder for Housing, Strategic Partnerships and Transformation Cllr. Hilary Cole Chieveley & Cold Ash
Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transport Cllr. Richard Somner Tilehurst South & Holybrook

References

  1. ^ West Berkshire Council - Your Councillors. Westberks.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  2. ^ http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2130
  3. ^ "West Berkshire Council elections", Wikipedia, 17 June 2019, retrieved 27 August 2020