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Wiltshire Council
1st unitary term
Coat of arms or logo.
Type
Type Unicameral
Leadership
Leader Jane Scott
Chairman Brigadier Robert Hall
Structure
Members 98
Political groups  Conservative Party
 Liberal Democrats
 Independents
 Devizes Guardians
 Labour Party
Election
Voting system First past the post
Last election 4 June 2009
Meeting place
County Hall, Trowbridge
Website
wiltshire.gov.uk

Wiltshire Council is the unitary authority for most of the county of Wiltshire, in the West of England, the successor authority to Wiltshire County Council (1889–2009) and to four districts, Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire, all of which had been created in 1973 and were abolished in 2009.

Contents

Establishment of the unitary authority

County Hall, Wiltshire Council's main building in Trowbridge

The ceremonial county of Wiltshire consists of two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, governed respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council. Before April 2009, Wiltshire was administered as a non-metropolitan county by Wiltshire County Council, with four districts, Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire. Swindon, in the north of the county, had been a separate unitary authority since 1997, and on 5 December 2007 the British Government announced that the rest of Wiltshire would move to unitary status. This was later put into effect by a statutory instrument as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England.

With the abolition of the District of Salisbury, a new Salisbury City Council was created at the same time to carry out several city-wide functions and to hold the City's charter.

Functions

The unitary authority provides all significant local government services to some 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, among other things.

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.

Wiltshire Council elections, 2009

As a result of the first elections to the new authority and a by-election in 2009, Wiltshire Council consists of 61 Conservatives, 24 Liberal Democrats, eight Independents, three Devizes Guardians and two Labour members. The council is led by Jane Scott (Conservative), who had previously led the former Wiltshire County Council since 2003.

Political group Councillors
Conservative 61
Liberal Democrat 24
Independent 8
Devizes Guardians 3
Labour 2
Total 98
Source: Election results at Wiltshire Council website

See also

External links

References

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