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Borough of Bedford

Borough of Bedford
Unitary Authority & Borough
Bedford Borough Hall
Bedford Borough Hall
Official logo of Bedford
Bedford Borough Council arms
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Country United Kingdom
Constituent area England
Region East of England
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Admin HQ Bedford
 • Type unitary authority
 • Governing body Bedford Borough Council
 • Executive mayor Dave Hodgson
Liberal Democrats
 • MPs Alistair Burt (C)
Nadine Dorries (C)
Richard Fuller (C)
 • Total 41.81 km2 (16.14 sq mi)
Population mid-2014 est.[1]
 • Total 63,176 Ranked 309th
 • Density 1,511/km2 (3,910/sq mi)
 • Ethnicity 85.5% White
8.1% S.Asian
2.9% Black
1.3% Chinese or other
2.2% Mixed
Time zone GMT
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC)
ONS code 00KB

Bedford is a unitary authority area with the status of a borough in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based at Bedford, which is also the county town of Bedfordshire. The borough contains one large urban area, the 71st largest in the United Kingdom that comprises Bedford and the adjacent town of Kempston, surrounded by a rural area with many villages. 75% of the borough's population live in the Bedford Urban Area and the five large villages which surround it, which makes up slightly less than 6% of the total land area of the Borough.

The borough is also the location of the Wixams new town development, which received its first residents in 2009.


  • Formation 1
  • Council and cabinet 2
  • Wards and civil parishes 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The District of Bedford was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the existing borough of Bedford, along with Kempston urban district and Bedford Rural District. In 1975 the district was granted a royal charter granting borough status as North Bedfordshire. The borough was renamed as Borough of Bedford in 1992. Over half of the former municipal borough of Bedford is unparished. However, Brickhill is a parish, and Queens Park as well as Cauldwell & Kingsbrook elect their own urban community councils, which have similar functions to parish councils. The rest of the district including Kempston is parished.

The 2009 structural changes to local government in England, meaning that Bedford Borough Council became a unitary authority in April 2009. This means Bedford Borough has assumed responsibility in areas such as education, social services and transport which were previously provided by Bedfordshire County Council.[2][3][4]

Council and cabinet

Unlike most English districts, Bedford's council is led by a directly elected mayor of Bedford, who has been Dave Hodgson since 16 October 2009.[5]

The first elections for the new unitary Bedford Borough Council were held on 4 June 2009 when 36 councillors in addition to the mayor were elected. Since an electoral review which came into effect for the local elections in 2011, Bedford Borough has had 40 councillors in addition to the mayor.

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat Independent Other Control
2009[6] 9 7 13 7 0 No overall control
2011[7] 12 12 12 4 0 No overall control

Since the 2011 elections, Bedford Borough Council’s executive committee (cabinet) is headed by the mayor and includes 9 members from the Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative and Independent groups, only one Independent Member sits in opposition. From 2009 to 2011, Independents were included in the executive committee, while Conservative members sat in opposition on the council.[8]

Wards and civil parishes

The urban part of the borough consisting of most of the Bedford/Kempston Urban Area is divided into 13 wards, some of which are also civil parishes:[9]

Ward name Population (2009 estimate)[9] Percentage from minority groups[9]
Brickhill 8,540 14%
Castle 7,190 32%
Cauldwell 9,170 44%
De Parys 6,840 18%
Goldington 8,360 19%
Harpur 8,370 26%
Kempston Central and East 7,500 23%
Kempston North 4,050 24%
Kempston South 4,370 20%
Kempston West 3,770 15%
Kingsbrook 9,280 25%
Newnham 7,620 18%
Putnoe 7,650 14%
Queens Park 8,470 58%
Total population 101,180 25%[10]
Town Hall, the former HQ of Bedford Borough Council. During 2014 the building was demolished to make way for a multi-million pound public square development, which will link the River Great Ouse with St Paul’s Square. Once opened in 2015 this will include restaurants, cinema and a hotel.
Map of the wards in Bedford Borough

The wards and constituent civil parishes in the rural part of the borough are as follows:[9]

Ward name Civil Parishes[9] Population (2009 estimate)[9] Percentage from minority groups[9]
Biddenham & Bromham 7,460 9%
Clapham Clapham 4,670 9%
Eastcotts Eastcotts 3,330 9%
Elstow 4,500 15%
Great Barford 6,870 6%
Harrold 4,240 4%
Kempston Rural 3,600 7%
Oakley 3,790 5%
Riseley 3,440 4%
Sharnbrook 4,170 4%
Wilshamstead Wilshamstead 2,550 4%
Wootton Wootton 4,480 6%
Wyboston 3,780 4%
Total population 56,880 7%

See also


  1. ^ "Population estimates for UK mid-2014 analysis tool" (zip).  
  2. ^ Unitary solution confirmed for Bedfordshire – New flagship unitary councils approved for Cheshire – Corporate – Communities and Local Government
  3. ^ County council to be abolished in shake-up – Bedford Today
  4. ^ [2] Archived 24 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Lib Dem win in mayoral election". BBC News. 16 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Lib Dems the winners in Borough Hall elections – News". Bedford Today. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Bedford Borough Council elections – the results – Local". Bedford Today. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Tories give new Mayor a taste of his own medicine | Bedfordshire News | Latest Bedford News Headlines | Bedfordshire Sports, Jobs, Weather & Business News". Bedfordshire News. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Ward Profiles". 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  10. ^

External links

  • Bedford Borough Website

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