Borough of Bedford

Bedford is a unitary authority area with borough status in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. Its council is based at Bedford, 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.


Borough of Bedford
Bedford Borough Hall
Bedford Borough Hall
Official logo of Bedford

Bedford Borough Council arms
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Bedford shown within Bedfordshire
Coordinates: 52°8′0″N 0°27′0″W / 52.13333°N 0.45000°W
CountryUnited Kingdom
Constituent areaEngland
RegionEast of England
Ceremonial countyBedfordshire
Admin HQBedford
 • Typeunitary authority
 • Governing bodyBedford Borough Council
 • Executive mayorDave Hodgson
Liberal Democrats
 • MPsAlistair Burt (C)
Nadine Dorries (C)
Mohammad Yasin (L)
 • Total476.4 km2 (183.9 sq mi)
mid-2018 est.[1]
 • Total171,623 Ranked 115th
 • Density356/km2 (920/sq mi)
 • Ethnicity
85.5% White
8.1% S.Asian
2.9% Black
1.3% Chinese or other
2.2% Mixed
Time zoneGMT
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time
ONS code00KB


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.[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]
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:[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. ^ {{#switch: England | area = "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017. | #default = "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2018". Office for National Statistics. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.}
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ County council to be abolished in shake-up – Bedford Today
  4. ^ [1] Archived 24 February 2009 at
  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. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Bedford Borough Council elections – the results – Local". Bedford Today. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. 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. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Coordinates: 52°08′04″N 0°27′47″W / 52.13444°N 0.46306°W

Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council is the local authority of the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. The executive of the council is the directly elected mayor of Bedford. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.

The first official Councillor of Bedford Borough Council was Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, following the introduction of unitary authority across Bedfordshire. On 1 April 2009, the Bedfordshire County Council ceased to exist, and unitary authorities for Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council were formed.

Castle Newnham School

Castle Newnham School is a mixed all-through school located over two sites in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.The school was formed in January 2016 from the merger of Castle Lower School on Goldington Road and Newnham Middle School on Polhill Avenue. The new school has also expanded its age range up to 16. In addition Hazeldene Lower School on Stancliffe Road has formed a soft federation with Castle Newnham School, with graduating pupils from Hazeldene Lower School expected to attend Castle Newnham School. It used to be Newnham Middle School which was made in the 1960s.

Clapham, Bedfordshire

Clapham is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It had a population of 3,643 as at the 2001 census, increasing to 4,560 at the 2011 Census.

Duck's Cross

Duck's Cross is a hamlet located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

The settlement forms part of the Colmworth civil parish, though Duck's Cross is located nearer to the villages of Wilden, and Colesden.

Duloe, Bedfordshire

Duloe is a hamlet in the English county of Bedfordshire.

Administratively it is part of the civil parish of Staploe that, in turn, forms part of the Borough of Bedford. The nearest town is St Neots two miles to the east over the border into Cambridgeshire.

Goldington Academy

Goldington Academy (formerly Goldington Middle School) is a mixed secondary school located in the Goldington/Putnoe area of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

Harrold, Bedfordshire

Harrold is a civil parish and electoral ward in the Borough of Bedford within Bedfordshire, England, around nine miles north-west of Bedford. The village is on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, and is the site of an ancient bridge, linking the village with Carlton with Chellington on the south bank. Immediately to the east of the village is Odell. Across the bridge is Carlton.The buttermarket in Harrold has often been an iconic and controversial image in Harrold, along with the bridge. It also used to be the logo for one of the schools in Harrold. Harrold also has a village lock-up that was used to detain drunks and suspected criminals. It is no longer in use.Harrold Primary Academy is a primary school located in the village.The Church of St Peter is also located in the village.


Honeydon is a hamlet located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

Honeydon lies in the civil parish of Staploe(where the 2011 Census population was included), and is close to Upper Staploe and Begwary. The settlement is also close to the border of Huntingdonshire.


Keysoe is a village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

Historically part of the Stodden hundred in Bedfordshire, part of Keysoe was originally located in Huntingdonshire. Today the village forms part of the Bolnhurst and Keysoe civil parish.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin is located in the village.

The College Equestrian Centre is based in Keysoe. The centre is a club and venue for horse sport events and training. The venue was used by equestrian teams training for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics. 15 teams from around the world used Bedford Borough as their training base in preparation for the games.

Keysoe Row

Keysoe Row is a hamlet located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

The settlement is located to the south of the village of Keysoe, and is part of the wider Bolnhurst and Keysoe civil parish.

Kymbrook Primary School is located in the area.

List of schools in Bedford

This is a list of schools in the Borough of Bedford, in the English county of Bedfordshire.

Mark Rutherford School

Mark Rutherford School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in Bedford, England. The school is named in honour of the writer William Hale White who used Mark Rutherford as a pseudonym.

Mark Rutherford school educates pupils from age 11 through to 16. In addition, the school offers a sixth form provision for pupils age 16 to 19 wishing to study courses such as A levels. The school has a specialism in performing arts, and offers a range of courses related to the specialism.

Mayor of Bedford

The Mayor of Bedford is a directly elected mayor responsible for the executive function, and ceremonial duty of Bedford Borough Council in Bedfordshire. The incumbent is Dave Hodgson of the Liberal Democrats.


Melchbourne is a small village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

The village is located west of Swineshead and east of Yielden. Melchbourne forms part of the Melchbourne and Yielden civil parish.

Melchbourne Preceptory was located in the village. Today the village is the location of the Church of St Mary Magdalene.

Ridgeway School, Kempston

Ridgeway School is a mixed special school for pupils with physical disabilities located in Kempston, Bedfordshire, England. The school accepts pupils from all over the Borough of Bedford.

Robert Braybrooke

Robert Braybrooke was a medieval Dean of Salisbury and Bishop of London.

Upper Dean

Upper Dean is a village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

West End, Bedfordshire

West End is a hamlet located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

The settlement is close to Carlton, Pavenham and Stevington. West End also forms part of the wider Stevington civil parish.


Wymington is a village and civil parish in the borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It is located around a mile and a half south of Rushden, in the neighbouring county of Northamptonshire. Other nearby places are Podington, to the south-west, and Farndish to the west.

Unitary authorities
Major settlements
Local elections


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