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Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire County Council
Coat of arms or logo
Logo
Council logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 1889
Leadership
Kevin Feltham,
Conservative
since 18 May 2022[1]
Nick Rushton,
Conservative
since 26 September 2012
John Sinnott
since 1994[2]
Structure
Seats55 councillors
Political groups
Administration (41)
  Conservative (41)
Other parties (14)
  Liberal Democrat (10)
  Labour (4)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
6 May 2021
Next election
1 May 2025
Meeting place
County Hall, Leicester Road, Glenfield, Leicester, LE3 8RA
Website
www.leicestershire.gov.uk

Leicestershire County Council is the county council for the English non-metropolitan county of Leicestershire. It was originally formed in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888. The county is divided into 53 electoral divisions, which return a total of 55 councillors. The council is controlled by the Conservative Party. The leader of the county council is currently Nick Rushton, who was elected to the post in September 2012. The headquarters of the council is County Hall beside the A50 at Glenfield, just outside the city of Leicester in Blaby district.

History

Elected county councils were created under the Local Government Act 1888, taking over many administrative functions that had previously been performed by magistrates at the quarter sessions. From its establishment in 1889 to 1974, the county council covered the administrative county of Leicestershire. The administrative county differed from the geographic county in that it excluded Leicester itself, which was considered large enough to provide its own county-level services and so was made a county borough, independent from the county council.[3]

The first elections were held in January 1889, and the council formally came into being on 1 April 1889, on which day it held its first official meeting at Leicester Town Hall. Henry St John Halford was appointed the first chairman of the council.[4]

In 1974, the Local Government Act 1972 reconstituted Leicestershire County Council as a non-metropolitan county, adding the former county borough of Leicester, and the small county of Rutland to the area.[5] On 1 April 1997 these were removed from the county council area again, to become unitary authorities.[6]

Governance

Leicestershire County Council provides county-level services. District-level services are provided by the area's seven district councils.[7] Much of the county is also covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government.[8][9] The seven district councils are:[10]

Political control

The county council has been under Conservative majority control since 2001.

Political control of the council since the 1974 reforms has been as follows:[11][12]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1977
Conservative 1977–1981
No overall control 1981–2001
Conservative 2001–present

Leadership

The leaders of the council since 1999 have been:[13]

Councillor Party From To
Harry Barber Conservative 1999 21 May 2003
David Parsons[14] Conservative 21 May 2003 3 Jul 2012
Nick Rushton Conservative 26 Sep 2012

Composition

Following the 2021 election the composition of the council was as follows:

Party Councillors
Conservative 41
Liberal Democrats 10
Labour 4
Total 55

The next election is due in 2025.

Elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2019 the council has comprised 55 councillors representing 53 electoral divisions. Most divisions elect one councillor, but two divisions elect two councillors. Elections are held every four years.[15]

Premises

The council is based at County Hall in Glenfield, on the outskirts of Leicester but just outside the city boundary in the Blaby district.[16]

County Rooms, 16 Hotel Street, Leicester: County council's meeting place until 1967, since renamed City Rooms

Having held its first meeting in 1889 at Leicester Town Hall, later that year the council moved its meetings to the County Rooms on Hotel Street in the centre of Leicester, which had been built in 1800.[17][18] It continued to meet there until County Hall at Glenfield was completed in 1967.[19]

Cabinet

The council's cabinet has, as of May 2021, the following members, with the following portfolios:

  • Nick Rushton – Leadership of the Council locally, regionally and nationally. Growth & Infrastructure.
  • Deborah Taylor – Deputy Leader. Children and Family Services (the designated lead member for children and young people), Community Safety and Safeguarding, Regulatory Services, County Council representative on Police and Crime Panel.
  • Peter Bedford - Post-Covid Recovery and Ways of Working. (The portfolio includes responsibilities for Transformation previously within the Resources portfolio).
  • Lee Breckon - Resources i.e. Functions of the Corporate Resources Department: finance, property, ICT and human resources, and the operational aspects of those functions.
  • Ozzy O'Shea – Highways, Transportation and Flooding (This includes the flooding responsibilities of the Environment and Transport Department, and the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy).
  • Blake Pain - Environment and the Green Agenda. (Responsibility for waste management and disposal sits with this portfolio, as does the County planning function, the Environment Strategy and related strategies).
  • Pam Posnett - Community and Staff Relations (Includes Broadband).
  • Christine Radford - Adults and Communities
  • Louise Richardson - Health. Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
  • Richard Shepherd - Support for Resources portfolio.

Departments

There are six departments:

  • Corporate Resources (including property, finance, HR, communications, country parks and traded services)
  • Environment and Transport (including highways, transport and waste)
  • Adults and Communities (including adult social care, museums, libraries and adult learning)
  • Children and Family Services (including children's social care and school support)
  • Public health (which commissions a wide range of public health services, including smoking cessation, school nurses and sport and fitness programmes)
  • Chief Executive's (including policy, democratic services, trading standards, registration services, planning, legal services)

Key responsibilities

In the five years to 2015, the council's roles and responsibilities changed significantly, due to austerity savings, the transfer of public health from the NHS to the council and many schools becoming academies, independent of the council.

However, that still left a number of key responsibilities. As of December 2015, these are: social care for adults and children; support for schools; highways and transport; public health; waste disposal; economic development; libraries and museums; strategic planning; trading standards; country parks; registration of births, marriages and deaths; and community leadership.

Financial situation

The council claims to be the lowest-funded county council,[20] yet one of the top three best performers, across a wide range of indicators.[21]

From 2010–2015, the council has had to save £100 million – two-thirds as efficiency savings and the remainder from services. The council has predicted it will have to save more from services as austerity continues, with a further £100 million-plus of savings required over the next four years.

As of 2015/16, the council's annual budget was £348 million and it had just over 5,000 full-time equivalent staff.

Electoral divisions

Electoral division Councillors
Ashby de la Zouch 1
Belvoir 1
Birstall 1
Blaby and Glen Parva 1
Bradgate 1
Braunstone 1
Broughton Astley 1
Bruntingthorpe 1
Burbage 1
Castle Donington and Kegworth 1
Coalville North 1
Coalville South 1
Crosby and Countesthorpe 1
De Montfort (Hinckley) 1
Earl Shilton 1
East Wigston 1
Enderby and Lubbesthorpe 1
Forest and Measham 1
Gartree 1
Glenfields, Kirby Muxloe and Leicester Forests 2
Groby and Ratby 1
Hollycroft (Hinckley) 1
Ibstock and Appleby 1
Launde 1
Gartree 1
Loughborough East 1
Loughborough North 1
Loughborough North West 1
Loughborough South 1
Loughborough South West 1
Lutterworth 1
Mallory 1
Market Harborough East 1
Market Harborough West and Foxton 1
Markfield Desford and Thornton 1
Melton East 1
Melton West 1
Melton Wolds 1
Narborough and Whetstone 1
North Wigston 1
Oadby 2
Quorn and Barrow 1
Rothley and Mountsorrel 1
Shepshed 1
Sileby and The Wolds 1
South and West Wigston 1
St Marys (Hinckley) 1
Stoney Stanton and Croft 1
Syston Fosse 1
Syston Ridgeway 1
Thurmaston Ridgemere 1
Valley 1

Notable members

See also

References

  1. ^ "Council minutes, 18 May 2022". Leicestershire County Council. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  2. ^ Pegden, Tom (25 September 2017). "Leicestershire's most influential people in charity, religion, politics and the public sector 2017". Leicestershire Live. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  3. ^ Local Government Act 1888
  4. ^ "Leicestershire County Council". Leicester Journal. 5 April 1889. p. 7. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  5. ^ Local Government Act 1972
  6. ^ "The Leicestershire (City of Leicester and District of Rutland) (Structural Change) Order 1996", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1996/507, retrieved 5 November 2023
  7. ^ "Local Authority Profiles". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 22 October 2023
  10. ^ "The County Council – Local Government in Leicestershire". Leicestershire County Council. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Leicestershire". BBC News Online. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Council minutes". Leicestershire County Council. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Leicestershire council leader David Parsons resigns". BBC News. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  15. ^ "The Leicestershire (Electoral Changes) Order 2016", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2016/1070, retrieved 5 November 2023
  16. ^ "Opening times and contact information". Leicestershire County Council. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  17. ^ "Leicestershire County Council". Leicester Journal. 15 November 1889. p. 6. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  18. ^ Historic England. "The City Rooms and basement area railings (Grade I) (1184114)". National Heritage List for England.
  19. ^ "Last meeting in County Rooms after 79 years: 'Historic moment' for the council". Leicester Mercury. 8 November 1967. p. 17. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  20. ^ "Statement on the Council's Budget Situation". Leicestershire County Council. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Leicestershire County Council Annual Performance Report 2015 – Dashboards". LeicesterShire Statistics & Research. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  22. ^ Webster, Richard (5 January 1999). "Manners maketh man". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
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Leicestershire County Council
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