Cheshire West and Chester

"Cheshire West" redirects here. For the former European Parliament constituency, see Cheshire West (European Parliament constituency).
Cheshire West and Chester
Borough and Unitary authority

Cheshire West and Chester highlighted in red on a beige political map of Cheshire
Cheshire West and Chester shown within Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°12′47″N 2°54′07″W / 53.213°N 2.902°W / 53.213; -2.902Coordinates: 53°12′47″N 2°54′07″W / 53.213°N 2.902°W / 53.213; -2.902
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county  Cheshire
Established 1 April 2009
Administrative HQ Chester (HQ)
  Type Unitary authority
  Body Cheshire West and Chester Council
  Leadership Leader and cabinet
  Executive Labour
  Leader Samantha Dixon
  Lord Mayor (Chester) Angela Claydon
  Chief Executive Gerald Meehan
  Total 353.9 sq mi (916.7 km2)
Area rank 32nd
Population (mid-2014 est.)
  Total 332,210
  Rank 19th
  Density 940/sq mi (362/km2)
  Ethnicity 98.5% white
  Religion 70.1% Christian
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
  Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postcode areas CH (1, 2, 3, 4, 33, 34, 64, 65, 66)
CW (6, 7, 8, 9)
SY (14)
WA (4, 6)
Dialling codes 01244
ISO 3166 code GB-CHW
GSS code E06000050
NUTS 3 code UKD63
ONS code 00EW
Motorways M6
Trunk primary routes A41
Major railway stations Chester (B)
GVA (2013) £7.567bn (56th) Increase 2.25%
- Per capita £22,860 (37th) Increase 1.99%
Councillors 75
MPs Chris Matheson (L)
Antoinette Sandbach (C)
Justin Madders (L)
George Osborne (C)
Graham Evans (C)
European Parliament North West England
Police area Cheshire
Fire service Cheshire
Ambulance service North West

Cheshire West and Chester is a non-metropolitan county, non-metropolitan district[1] and unitary authority with borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.[1] It superseded the boroughs of Ellesmere Port and Neston and Vale Royal and the City of Chester and its council assumed the functions and responsibilities of the former Cheshire County Council within its area. The remainder of ceremonial Cheshire is composed of Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington.

The decision to create the Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority was announced on 25 July 2007 following a consultation period, in which a proposal to create a single Cheshire unitary authority was rejected.[2] Chester City Council had proposed the new authority be called 'The City of Chester and West Cheshire' but this was also rejected. The council name is still an area of contention with the district of Northwich and its people as they have argued since 2007 that a more befitting name considering the geographic differences of nearly 20 miles would be 'Cheshire West and Mid Cheshire Council'.


In line with every other district in Cheshire, the executive is composed of a leader and cabinet composed of elected councillors. From its establishment in 2009, Cheshire West and Chester was governed by the Conservative Party, with Mike Jones as leader. Currently, as of 2015, the borough is governed by the Labour Party, with Samantha Dixon becoming the first female leader of the council upon taking office.

The leader presently oversees a cabinet of eight, with each member holding a specific portfolio. Opposition parties can also elect to appoint shadow cabinet members, though they have no executive power.

All councillors vote to appoint a chairman for the following municipal year (May) at the council AGM. Traditionally, this role was combined with that of the apolitical and ceremonial Lord Mayor of Chester, but in 2015 these roles were separated and the role of chairman was politicised.[3]

The executive is scrutinised by one general committee and four district committees made up of councillors, which replaced six dedicated scrutiny committees for different topics in May 2015.[3]

HQ in Chester, the headquarters of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Also upon establishment in 2009, Cheshire West and Chester Council inherited a number of buildings from the local authorities it replaced in every town in the borough. However, despite Cheshire County Council vacating its headquarters (County Hall, Chester), the new authority spent £21 million of taxpayers' money purchasing and furbishing a new headquarters at HQ, also in Chester.[4] County hall was later sold to the University of Chester, who now use it as a campus, for £10 million.[4]

Meetings often take place at Chester Town Hall but also are sometimes held at Wyvern House in Winsford.


The first elections to the authority took place on 1 May 2008, with the electoral wards being the same as those used in the former Cheshire County Council elections, with each ward electing three councillors. There were twenty-four wards in total, meaning that seventy-two councillors were elected.

An electoral review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England was put into effect prior to 2011 elections, meaning that three additional councillors were created, making a total of seventy-five in the borough. The ward boundaries were also comprehensively re-drawn, with their number being increased by twenty-two to forty-six. The new wards were mostly single-member wards, with two and three-member wards for the more populous areas.[5][6]

The 2015 election took place on 7 May, producing the first change of executive in the council's history.[7]

Council wards, Civil parishes and House of Commons constituencies

The borough is divided into forty-six wards,[5][6] listed below in alphabetical order.

There are ninety-seven parish councils in the borough,[8][9] despite there being a total of 166 civil parishes before a community governance review was undertaken by the borough council in 2014[10] under section 82 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007:[11]

Ward Civil parishes[Note 1] and unparished areas House of Commons constituency
Blacon Chester City of Chester
Boughton Chester
Chester City Chester
Chester Castle
Chester Villages Christleton
Christleton Eddisbury
Guilden Sutton City of Chester
Mickle Trafford and District Ellesmere Port and Neston
Rowton Eddisbury
Davenham and Moulton Bostock
Northwich Weaver Vale
Dodleston and Huntington Dodleston City of Chester
Eaton and Eccleston
Poulton and Pulford
Ellesmere Port Town Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port and Neston
Elton Croughton
Little Stanney
Farndon Aldersey Eddisbury
Aldford and Saighton City of Chester
Aldford and Saighton Eddisbury
Shocklach Oviatt and District
Frodsham Frodsham Weaver Vale
Garden Quarter Chester City of Chester
Gowy Alvanley Weaver Vale
Ashton Hayes and Horton-cum-Peel Eddisbury
Dunham-on-the-Hill and Hapsford
Manley Weaver Vale
Mouldsworth Eddisbury
Grange Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port and Neston
Great Boughton Great Boughton City of Chester
Handbridge Park Chester
Hartford and Greenbank Hartford Weaver Vale
Helsby Helsby
Hoole Chester City of Chester
Kingsley Aston Weaver Vale
Lache Chester City of Chester
Ledsham and Manor Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port and Neston
Little Neston and Burton Neston
Puddington City of Chester
Malpas Agden Eddisbury
No Man's Heath and District
Tushingham-cum-Grindley, Macefen and Bradley
Marbury Anderton with Marbury Tatton
Great Budworth
Little Leigh
Neston Neston Ellesmere Port and Neston
Netherpool Ellesmere Port
Newton Chester City of Chester
Parkgate Neston Ellesmere Port and Neston
Rossmore Ellesmere Port
Saughall and Mollington Backford City of Chester
Saughall and Shotwick Park
Shakerley Allostock Tatton
Lach Dennis
Lostock Gralam
St Paul's Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port and Neston
Strawberry Ellesmere Port
Sutton Ellesmere Port
Tarporley Little Budworth Eddisbury
Tarvin and Kelsall Clotton Hoofield
Delamere and Oakmere
Tattenhall Broxton
Golborne David
Hargrave and Huxley
Tattenhall and District
Tiverton and Tilstone Fearnall
Upton Bache City of Chester
Weaver and Cuddington Acton Bridge Weaver Vale
Cuddington Eddisbury
Dutton Weaver Vale
Whitby Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port and Neston
Willaston and Thornton Ellesmere Port
Winnington and Castle Northwich Weaver Vale
Winsford Over and Verdin Whitegate and Marton
Winsford Eddisbury
Winsford Swanlow and Dene Darnhall
Winsford Wharton Stanthorne and Wimboldsley
Witton and Rudheath Northwich Weaver Vale
Rudheath Tatton
  1. ^ 1: Civil parishes highlighted in bold have unilaterally declared town status under section 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Members of Parliament

Constituency Member of Parliament Political party Year first elected Notes
City of Chester Chris Matheson Labour Party 2015 Member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
Eddisbury Antoinette Sandbach Conservative Party 2015
Ellesmere Port and Neston Justin Madders Labour Party 2015 Shadow minister for health
Tatton George Osborne Conservative Party 2001
Weaver Vale Graham Evans 2010
MPs in Cheshire West and Chester, 2005 onwards
Election 2005[Note 1] (54th parliament) 2010[Note 2] (55th parliament) 2015 (56th parliament)
City of Chester Christine Russell Stephen Mosley Chris Matheson
Eddisbury Stephen O'Brien Antoinette Sandbach
Ellesmere Port and Neston Andrew Miller Justin Madders
Tatton George Osborne
Weaver Vale Mike Hall Graham Evans
  1. ^ 1: From the last election before the borough of Cheshire West and Chester was established.
  2. ^ 2: From the first election following the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, where boundary changes affected the constituencies.

Members of the European Parliament

Cheshire West and Chester forms part of the North West England constituency, which elects eight members to the European Parliament using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. The remaining length of their mandate is unclear after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the membership referendum held in June 2016.

Constituency Member of the European Parliament National political party European political party Year first elected
North West England Louise Bours UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe 2014
Jacqueline Foster Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists 1999
Theresa Griffin Labour Party Party of European Socialists 2014
Sajjad Karim Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists 2004
Afzal Khan Labour and Co-operative Party Party of European Socialists 2014
Paul Nuttall UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe 2009
Julie Ward Labour Party Party of European Socialists 2014
Steven Woolfe Independent None 2014



Ethnicity in Cheshire West and Chester (2011 census)[12]
Ethnicity Percent(%)

In line with nearly every local government district in England and Wales, the majority of the population describe themselves as 'white'. The exact figure - 97.5% - is comparable with metropolitan counties such as Merseyside, non-metropolitan counties such as Cumbria and principal areas throughout Wales. This would suggest that the figure is not a significant outlier nationwide.

The next largest ethnic group in the borough is Asian, who along with other ethnic minorities are supported by the Cheshire Asian & Minority Communities Council, a registered charity headquartered in Chester.


2011 United Kingdom Census[12]
Country of birth Population
United Kingdom United Kingdom 313,621
Poland Poland 2,117
Republic of Ireland Ireland 1,932
Germany Germany 1,270
India India 895
South Africa South Africa 717
United States United States 481
Australia Australia 343
Philippines Philippines 337
Hong Kong Hong Kong 305
Spain Spain 301
Italy Italy 278
France France 273
Bangladesh Bangladesh 266
China China 256
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 240
Turkey Turkey 218
Pakistan Pakistan 162
Kenya Kenya 155
Portugal Portugal 140
Nigeria Nigeria 139
Lithuania Lithuania 137
Romania Romania 135
Iran Iran 102
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 98
Jamaica Jamaica 45
Ghana Ghana 41

The majority of the population of Cheshire West and Chester is British-born, with the percentage standing at 95.1% (2011), a figure significantly above that of the UK as a whole (88.7%, 2010).[13] The largest overseas nationality is Polish, which is significant because of the World War II U.S. military base and subsequent Polish refugee camp in Cuddington.


Religion in Cheshire West and Chester (2011 census)[12]
Religion Percent(%)
No religion

The overwhelming main religion in Cheshire West and Chester is Christianity, with a percentage figure above the average for England and Wales (59.3%, 2011).[12] The single largest church is the Church of England, with the borough being served by the Chester Archdeaconry, with six deaneries and an average of twenty parish churches in each deanery. Roman Catholicism also has a significant presence across the borough, with all its churches located in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

Methodist churches in the borough form groups averaging ten, known as 'circuits' (the four in Cheshire West and Chester are all part of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District). More marginal churches include Assemblies of God, Baptist Union, Elim Pentecostal, United Reformed and the English Presbyterian Church of Wales in Chester.

Aside from churches, there are two mosques in Cheshire West and Chester - one each in Chester and Ellesmere Port - which were subjected to property theft[14] and racially aggravated disorder[15] respectively in 2014.

Local nature reserves

Cheshire West and Chester Council maintains six Local Nature Reserves: Burton Mill Wood (Ellesmere Port), Helsby Quarry (Vale Royal), Marshall's Arm (Vale Royal), Rivacre Valley (Ellesmere Port), Stanney Wood (Ellesmere Port) and Whitby Park (Ellesmere Port).[16]



There are no passenger airports in the borough (a grass airfield exists in Little Budworth), with the nearest being Liverpool and Manchester which licensed vehicles provide transport to. Airbus' fleet of A300-600ST Beluga transporter aircraft are based at Hawarden Airport in neighbouring Flintshire, adjacent to their wing manufacturing facility.


National routes which pass though the borough include NCR5, NCR45 (Mercian Way), NCR56, NCR562, NCR563, NCR568 and NCR573. Regional routes include 70 (Cheshire Cycleway) and 71.

Three disused railways in the borough have been converted to off-road cycleways, including:

In 2009, Chester was awarded the status of 'Cycling Town' by Cycling England. To reflect this, a series of colour-coded signposted routes around the city were devised in 2012.[17]


Chester is the hub of the railway network in the borough, with over four million trips recorded annually. Passenger numbers doubled to this figure in the ten years to 2015, making the station the eighth-busiest in North West England.[18] Railway lines (and their associated franchise(s)) in the borough - not necessarily connecting to Chester - include:

Direct services between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street are proposed to run via the Halton Curve once it is upgraded to a two-track railway and re-opened to passenger trains in 2018.[19]

The sections of railway between Chester - Stockport and Chester - Warrington Bank Quay are proposed for electrification during the period 2019-2024.[20]


A556 west of Northwich looking towards Sandiway.

Motorways and primary routes in the borough which are maintained by Highways England (trunk roads de jure) include the M6, M53, M56, A55, A483, A494, A550 and a short section of the A41 in Hooton. Other primary routes which are maintained by the council (principal roads de jure) include the A41, A49, A51, A54, A56, A483, A530, A533, A534, A556, A5115, A5116, A5117 and A5268.

Chester and Ellesmere Port - both primary route destinations - form the hub of the road network in Cheshire West and Chester, with routes of national importance carrying traffic in all directions to locations including Flintshire, Halton, Wirral and Wrexham.

European Route E05 is routed via the M6, carrying international traffic between Scotland, North West England, the West Midlands and France via Southampton. European route E22 is routed via the A494 and M56, carrying international traffic between Ireland (the route in fact begins at the Port of Holyhead), North Wales, North West England, Yorkshire and the Netherlands. Both routes meet at Lymm Interchange, which lies in neighbouring Cheshire East.

Two Roman roads exist in Cheshire West and Chester, originating in Chester (Deva Victrix) and running to Northwich (Condate) and Whitchurch (Mediolanum) respectively.

The section of the A51 between its western terminus and the B5132 was named as one of the most congested roads in the United Kingdom by INRIX in August 2015.[21]

Three local MPs - Graham Evans, Justin Madders and Chris Matheson - raised safety concerns about the M56 between J12 and J14 in parliament after more than one hundred-and-sixty incidents were recorded since 2011. In response, Andrew Jones, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, confirmed that an upgrade to smart motorway will only take place after 2020.[22][23]


Navigable waterways in the borough include the Manchester Ship Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal and the Weaver Navigation, the latter two being connected together by the Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich, the only caisson lift lock in the United Kingdom.

Places of interest

Tourist attractions

Accessible open space
Amusement/Theme Park
Country Park
English Heritage
Forestry Commission
Heritage railway
Historic House

Museum (free/not free)
National Trust



Deva Stadium

There is only one full-time professional football club in the borough - Chester FC - who play in the National League. Northwich has four semi-professional teams - Barnton, Northwich Victoria, Witton Albion and 1874 Northwich - all of whom play in regional leagues. Winsford is also represented in the non-league pyramid by Winsford United.

Below level ten of the English football league system are county-wide amateur leagues, with two covering the geographic area of the borough - the Cheshire Association Football League and West Cheshire Association Football League. Although several clubs are members of the former, many more compete in the latter - most notably Vauxhall Motors, who de-professionalised themselves in 2014. Below that is the Chester & Wirral Football League, and also the Mid-Cheshire district leagues who cater for the areas of knutsford, Northwich, Middlewich and Winsford where teams representing neighbourhoods/villages and/or pubs/social clubs ('pub teams') compete.

The largest football stadium in Cheshire West and Chester is the Deva Stadium, home to Chester FC, although the ground famously straddles the England-Wales border.

Twin towns

Whilst the borough per se does not have any twinning agreements, several of its settlements have agreements predating its creation in 2009, listed below:

Settlement(s) Twin town(s)
France Aubignan
Chester France Sens
Germany Lörrach
Italy Senigallia
Ellesmere Port Germany Reutlingen
Malpas France Questembert
Northwich France Dole
Republic of Ireland Carlow
Tarporley France Bohars
Upton by Chester France Arradon
Winsford France Deuil-la-Barre


  1. 1 2 "The Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008 - Article 4". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  2. "County split into two authorities". BBC News. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
  3. 1 2 "Cheshire West and Chester Council have bad-tempered first meeting under Labour control". Chester Chronicle. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Cheshire West and Chester Council HQ is 21st century workplace". Chester Chronicle. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Election 2011 Live Results". Cheshire West and Chester Council. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Your Councillors by Ward". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  7. "Labour take control of Cheshire West and Chester Council". Northwich Guardian. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  8. "Town and parish councils". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  9. "Parish and Town Councils in Cheshire" (PDF). Cheshire Association of Local Councils. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  10. "Community governance arrangements". Cheshire West and Chester Council. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  11. "Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 - Section 82". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "2011 Census, Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  13. "Population and social conditions" (PDF). Eurostat. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  14. "Heartless thieves steal plants from mosque during Ramadan". Chester Chronicle. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  15. "Ellesmere Port man arrested after pig's head placed outside Islamic centre". Chester Chronicle. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  16. "Statutory Sites". Cheshire West and Chester council. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  17. "Complete Library of Free Chester Cycle Route Maps". Chester Cycling Campaign. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  18. "Chester Railway Station sees passenger numbers double in 10 years". Chester Chronicle. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  19. "£340m railway upgrade planned for Liverpool City region". Network Rail. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  20. "Electrification Task Force Final Report Revealed". Rail North. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  21. "Chester Road one of most congested outside London". The Standard. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  22. "Weaver Vale MP raises M56 issues in House of Commons". Chester Chronicle. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  23. "M56 Smart Motorway won't happen". Chester Chronicle. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
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