|Founded||1 April 2009[a]|
|Preceded by||Wiltshire County Council|
Chairman of the Council
Stuart Wheeler, Conservative
since 18 May 2021
Leader of the Council
Richard Clewer, Conservative
since 18 May 2021
since 26 June 2020
Length of term
|First past the post|
|6 May 2021|
|County Hall, Trowbridge|
Wiltshire Council is a council for the unitary authority of Wiltshire (excluding the separate unitary authority of Swindon) in South West England, created in 2009. It is the successor authority to Wiltshire County Council (1889–2009) and the four district councils of Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire, all of which were created in 1974 and abolished in 2009.
The unitary authority provides local government services to 435,000 Wiltshire residents and is also the biggest employer in Wiltshire, being responsible for schools, social services, rubbish collection and disposal, county roads, planning, and leisure services.
Most executive decisions are taken by the authority's cabinet, each member of which has a particular area of responsibility. Development control is undertaken by five planning committees, the powers of which cannot be exercised by the cabinet. Members of the authority are appointed to a wide range of outside bodies, providing them with some element of democratic accountability, such as the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, the Wiltshire Victoria County History, and the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust.
Main article: Wiltshire Council elections
As a result of the first elections to the new authority, plus two by-elections held in September 2009 and December 2010, an Independent joining UKIP while remaining in the Independent group, a defection in May 2012 by a Liberal Democrat councillor to the Conservatives, and in November 2012 by another Lib Dem and a Conservative to the Independents, by the beginning of 2013 Wiltshire Council consisted of 61 Conservatives, 22 Liberal Democrats, ten Independents including one UKIP member, three Devizes Guardians, and two Labour members.
The elections of 2013 produced an unexpected swing to the Liberal Democrats, who made a net gain of five seats, while all three Devizes Guardians lost their seats to the Conservatives and the Labour group increased from two to four. The overall result was 58 Conservatives, 27 Liberals, eight Independents, four Labour, and one UKIP member. However, during the following year four Liberal Democrats defected from their political group: one to the Conservatives and three to the Independents. In a by-election in May 2015 at Chippenham Hardenhuish, the Conservatives gained a seat from the Liberal Democrats, and in November they gained another at Salisbury St Edmund. At a by-election in May 2016 the Liberal Democrats gained Amesbury East from the Conservatives.
The 2017 election resulted in the Conservatives increasing their share of seats at the expense of the Liberal Democrats, Independents, Labour and UKIP. This trend reversed, however, in 2021 with the Liberal Democrats increasing their number to 27 – their joint highest since the creation of the council.
|UK Independence Party||0||1||0||0||0|
Wiltshire Council has 98 divisions, each represented by one elected member.
Wiltshire Council operates from the same Trowbridge base as its predecessor, Wiltshire County Council. In 2012 the County Hall building was renovated and expanded at a cost of about £24 million. The remodelled New County Hall includes benefits services and housing advice, the Trowbridge library, the town's Register Office, and a cafe.