Borough of Bedford
The Borough of Bedford is a unitary authority area with borough status in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based in Bedford, its namesake and principal settlement, which is 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.
Borough of Bedford
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||East of England|
|Administrative HQ||Borough Hall, Bedford|
|• Type||Unitary Authority|
|• Governing body||Bedford Borough Council|
|• Executive mayor||Dave Hodgson|
|• MPs||Richard Fuller (C)|
Nadine Dorries (C)
Mohammad Yasin (L)
|• Total||476.4 km2 (183.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||360/km2 (900/sq mi)|
|• Ethnicity||85.5% White British |
8.1% British Asian
2.9% Black British
1.3% Chinese or other
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time|
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. The rest of the district including Kempston is parished.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have reorganised Bedfordshire's administrative structure as part of 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.
Council and cabinet
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.
|2009||9||7||13||7||0||No overall control|
|2011||12||12||12||4||0||No overall control|
|2015||15||14||9||2||0||No overall control|
|2019||11||11||15||1||2||No overall control|
Since the 2019 elections, Bedford Borough Council’s executive committee (cabinet) is headed by the mayor and includes 10 members from the Liberal Democrat, and Labour groups, and the Independent. Conservative and Green members sit in opposition on the council.
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:
|Ward name||Population (2009 estimate)||Percentage from minority groups|
|Kempston Central and East||7,500||23%|
|Ward name||Civil Parishes||Population (2009 estimate)||Percentage from minority groups|
|Biddenham & Bromham||7,460||9%|
Freedom of the Borough
The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Bedford.
- Etienne Stott : 11 December 2012.
- Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment: November 1955
- RAF Cardington: 16 July 1959.
- 287 Regiment Royal Artillery: 5 May 1963.
- 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment: 1980.
- 201 (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers): 3 May 1986.
- RAF Henlow: 26 September 1992.
- 774th USAF Airbase Group: 15 December 1994.
- 134 (Bedford) Squadron Air Training Corps: 1 August 1999.
- "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- Unitary solution confirmed for Bedfordshire – New flagship unitary councils approved for Cheshire – Corporate – Communities and Local Government Archived 22 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- County council to be abolished in shake-up – Bedford Today
- A New Beginning Archived 24 February 2009 at archive.today
- "Lib Dem win in mayoral election". BBC News. 16 October 2009.
- "Lib Dems the winners in Borough Hall elections – News". Bedford Today. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Bedford Borough Council elections – the results – Local". Bedford Today. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Find Councillor | Bedford Borough Council". Retrieved 30 November 2020.
- "Ward Profiles". Bedford.gov.uk. 5 May 2011. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "RAF Cardington Camp". rafcardingtoncamp.co.uk.