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Bedford is a unitary authority with the status of a borough in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, Englandmarker. Its council is based at Bedfordmarker, which is also the county town of Bedfordshire. The borough contains a single urban area that comprises Bedford and the adjacent town of Kempstonmarker, surrounded by a rural area with many villages. The borough is also the location of the Wixamsmarker new town development, which received its first residents in 2009. Unlike most English districts, Bedford's council is led by a directly-elected mayor, who has been Dave Hodgson since October 16, 2009.

The District of Bedford was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the existing borough of Bedford, along with Kempstonmarker urban district and Bedford Rural Districtmarker. 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 who have similar functions to parish councils. The rest of the district including Kempston is parished.

The Department for Communities and Local Governmentmarker 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

See also: Bedford local elections

As of 2009 there are 36 councillors in addition to the mayor. Following the June 2009 local elections, these are broken down as follows:

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat Independent Other Control
2009 9 7 13 7 0 No overall control
Bedford Borough Council’s executive committee (cabinet) is headed by the mayor and includes 9 members from the Liberal Democrat and Labour groups, as well as some independents. Conservative members sit in opposition on the council.

Wards and civil parishes

The towns of Bedford and Kempston are divided into 13 wards, some of which are also civil parishes:

The civil parishes in the rural part of the borough are as follows:
Town Hall, the former HQ of Bedford Borough Council which still houses some council staff

See also


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