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Borough of Bedford facts for kids

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Borough of Bedford
Borough and unitary authority
Bedford Borough Hall
Bedford Borough Hall
Official logo of Bedford
Coat of arms of Bedford Borough Council
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region East of England
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Administrative HQ Borough Hall, Bedford
 • Type Unitary Authority
 • Total 476.4 km2 (183.9 sq mi)
 (2005 est.)
 • Total 173,292
 • Rank 113th
 • Ethnicity
85.5% White British
8.1% British Asian
2.9% Black British
1.3% Chinese or other
2.2% Mixed
Time zone GMT
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time
ONS code 00KB

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.

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


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 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.

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
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%
Town Hall, the former HQ of Bedford Borough Council. During 2014 the building was demolished to make way for a multimillion-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.
Bedford UK ward map 2011 (blank)
Map of the wards in Bedford Borough

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

Ward name Civil Parishes Population (2009 estimate) Percentage from minority groups
Biddenham & Bromham
  • Biddenham
  • Bromham
7,460 9%
Clapham Clapham 4,670 9%
Eastcotts Eastcotts 3,330 9%
  • Elstow
  • Stewartby
4,500 15%
Great Barford
  • Great Barford
  • Cardington
  • Cople
  • Ravensden
  • Renhold
  • Willington
6,870 6%
  • Carlton and Chellington
  • Harrold
  • Odell
  • Podington
  • Wymington
4,240 4%
Kempston Rural
  • Great Denham
  • Kempston Rural
  • Stagsden
  • Turvey
3,600 7%
  • Oakley
  • Pavenham
  • Stevington
3,790 5%
  • Dean and Shelton
  • Bletsoe
  • Melchbourne and Yielden
  • Pertenhall
  • Riseley
  • Swineshead
  • Thurleigh
3,440 4%
  • Sharnbrook
  • Felmersham
  • Knotting and Souldrop
  • Milton Ernest
4,170 4%
Wilshamstead Wilshamstead 2,550 4%
Wootton Wootton 4,480 6%
  • Bolnhurst and Keysoe
  • Colmworth
  • Little Barford
  • Little Staughton
  • Roxton
  • Staploe
  • Wilden
  • Wyboston, Chawston and Colesden
3,780 4%
Total population 56,880 7%
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