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Central Bedfordshire
Unitary Authority
Official logo of Central Bedfordshire
Shown within Bedfordshire
Shown within Bedfordshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East of England
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Founded 1 April 2009
Admin. HQ Chicksands
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Body Central Bedfordshire Council
 • Total 276.3 sq mi (715.7 km2)
Area rank 52nd
 (2005 est.)
 • Total 288,648
 • Rank Ranked 46th
 • Density 1,044.56/sq mi (403.309/km2)
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code 00KC (ONS)
E06000056 (GSS)
Ethnicity 97.3% White

Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created in 2009.

Administrative history

The county of Bedfordshire was abolished on 1st April 2009. The term of office of councillors of Bedfordshire County Council and of Mid and South Bedfordshire District Councils ended on 1st April 2009. A new county and a new district, both from that date to be known as Central Bedfordshire, were created for the same area as the existing districts of Mid and South Bedfordshire. A new district council, the Central Bedfordshire Council, was created for the new district and became the sole principal authority for the district. There was to be no county council for the new county.

In 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government considered reorganising Bedfordshire's administrative structure as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England. The four proposals considered were:

  • Proposal 1, Abolish the three districts within the county and create a Bedfordshire County unitary authority. (Luton would remain a separate unitary authority.)
  • Proposal 2, Create two unitary authorities: one based on Bedford Borough and one as Central Bedfordshire, combining Mid and South Bedfordshire Districts.
  • Proposal 3, Create two unitary authorities: one a combination of Bedford Borough and Mid Beds District and the other of Luton Borough and South Beds District.
  • Proposal 4, Form an "enhanced two-tier" authority, with the four local councils under the control of the county council, but with different responsibilities.

On 6 March 2008 the DCLG, under Labour Party Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, decided to implement Proposal 2. This meant that from 1 April 2009 there would be three unitary authorities in Bedfordshire: Bedford, Luton and Central Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire County Council challenged this decision in the High Court but on 4 April 2008 it was announced the Judicial Review had failed and the County Council would not appeal. Subsequently, a shadow council for Central Bedfordshire was formed from all the members of Mid and South Bedfordshire councils, as well as all Bedfordshire County Council members from the Central Bedfordshire area. The inaugural meeting of the shadow council was held on 10 April 2008. A shadow Executive for the council was formed consisting of four members of each council, led by the former leader of Mid Bedfordshire District Council.


Central Bedfordshire Council is made up of 59 Councillors.

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat Independent Control
2009 54 0 11 1 Conservative
2011 49 1 5 4 Conservative
2015 53 2 1 3 Conservative

Since 2011 the Council has been led by James Jamieson with a Cabinet of seven portfolio holders:

  • Corporate Services (finance)
  • Children's Services
  • Social Care, Health and Housing
  • Regeneration
  • Community Services
  • Partnerships
  • External affairs

Towns and villages

2009 Bedfordshire Ceremonial Numbered
Unitary authorities in Bedfordshire. Central Bedfordshire is number 2

The Central Bedfordshire area is a mix of rural and small market towns and villages. It includes the following towns and villages.

See also

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