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The Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, Englandmarker, through which the upper part of the River Calder flows, and from which it takes its name. There are also some small river valleys that contain tributaries of the Calder.

Calderdale is made up of the amalgamation of six former local government districts, spanning (from east to west), the towns of Brighousemarker, Ellandmarker, Halifaxmarker, Sowerby Bridgemarker, Hebden Bridgemarker and Todmordenmarker.

Halifax acts as the borough's main commercial, cultural and administrative centre, with numerous high street chain stores, markets, central library, borough council offices, public transport hub, central police station and the further and higher education college, as well as other major local organisations.

The borough covers part of the South Penninesmarker and is the southern-most of the Yorkshire Dalesmarker. However, not being part of the Yorkshire Dales national park, Calderdale is generally less well known than its neighbours to the north.


Signpost in Calderdale
The borough was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the then county borough of Halifaxmarker, the boroughs of Brighousemarker, Todmordenmarker and the urban districts of Ellandmarker, Hebden Roydmarker, Rippondenmarker, Sowerby Bridgemarker, and part of Queensbury and Shelfmarker urban district, and also Hepton Rural Districtmarker.

Suburbs and villages

As well as the six towns, there are numerous villages and suburbs including:


Two selective schools in Calderdale jointly administer an 11+ admissions exam: Crossley Heath Grammar Schoolmarker, Skircoat Greenmarker and North Halifax Grammar Schoolmarker in Illingworthmarker.

Both schools achieve excellent GCSE and A-level results with both schools achieving a large proportion of A* to C grades at GCSE level. In 2005, the Crossley Heath School was the highest ranking co-educational school in the North of England.

The Crossley Heath School was formed when Heath Grammar Schoolmarker, an all boys' school given its charter by Elizabeth I of England, and The Crossley and Porter School, a mixed school founded with his brothers by Sir Francis Crossley, 1st Baronet which started as an orphanage, were combined in 1985. There are other schools in the area, including the Holy Trinity Church of England Senior Schoolmarker and St Catherine's Catholic High Schoolmarker, both of which are located in Holmfield. In January 2006 Holy Trinity was designated a Specialist College for Business and Enterprise, whilst St Catherine's, was designated a Specialist Technology College.

There are a total of 14 secondary schools in Calderdale [38755] One, The Ridings Schoolmarker in Ovenden, was recently closed.

Calderdale Collegemarker is the local further education college on Francis Street, just off King Cross Road, in Halifax. In December 2006 it was announced that Calderdale College, in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan Universitymarker, would open a new higher education institution in January 2007 called University Centre Calderdale [38756].

Local government

The borough is divided into 17 wards and each is represented on the borough council by three councillors. Each councillor is normally elected on a first past the post basis for a four-year period which is staggered with the other councillors of that ward so that only one councillor per ward is up for election at any one time. Exceptions to this include by-elections and ward boundary changes.

The seventeen wards in Calderdale are:Brighouse;Calder;Elland;Greetland and Stainland;Hipperholme and Lightcliffe;Illingworth and Mixenden;Luddendenfoot;Northowram and Shelf;Ovenden;Park;Rastrick;Ryburn;Skircoat;Sowerby Bridge;Todmorden;Town; andWarley

Mayors of Calderdale

  • 1974-1975: Joseph Tolan
  • 1975-1976: Mrs Kathleen M. Cawdry
  • 1976-1977: Mrs Mona Ross Mitchell
  • 1977-1978: Eric Dennett
  • 1978-1979: Richard Deadman
  • 1979-1980: Mrs Betty Wildsmith
  • 1980-1981: Harry Wilson
  • 1981-1982: Eric Whitehead
  • 1982-1983: David Trevor Shutt
  • 1983-1984: Kevin Gordon Lord
  • 1984-1985: John Bradley
  • 1985-1986: Thomas Lawler
  • 1986-1987: David J. Fox
  • 1987-1988: Wilfred Sharp
  • 1988-1989: Albert Berry
  • 1989-1990: Joseph Kneafsey
  • 1990-1991: Joseph Tolan
  • 1991-1992: Thomas J. McElroy
  • 1992-1993: William C. A. Carpenter

  • 1993-1994: Anthony D. J. Mazey
  • 1994-1995: Stephen J. Pearson
  • 1995-1996: Graham E. A. Reason
  • 1996-1997: Dawn Neal
  • 1997-1997: Susan Tucker
  • 1997-1998: Alan Worth
  • 1998-1999: Alan Worth
  • 1999-2000: Graham Hall
  • 2000-2001: Peter Sephton Coles
  • 2001-2002: Chris O'Connor
  • 2002-2003: Patrick Phillips
  • 2003-2004: Mrs Geraldine Carter
  • 2004-2005: Olwen Jean Arlette Jennings
  • 2005-2006: John Williamson
  • 2006-2007: Colin Stout
  • 2007-2008: Martin Peel
  • 2008-2009: Conrad Winterburn
  • 2009-2010: Arshad Mahmood

Public services


The borough has two hospitals and one hospice.

Calderdale is part of the Calderdale Primary Care Trust, South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. The main hospital (part of Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust) is the Calderdale Royal Hospital, located by the main route to Huddersfield , in Salterhebblemarker. It has specialist departments and Calderdale's A&E department and the Calderdale Birth Centre [38757].
The hospital was built and opened in 2001, on the site of the original Halifax General Hospital, after that had merged with the Royal Halifax Infirmary.

Elland Hospital located by the Calderdale Way, is Calderdale's only private hospital. Formerly BUPA Elland Independent Hospital, it is now owned and operated by Classic Hospitals.

NHS Ambulance services are provided by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Overgate Hospice provides specialist palliative care for adults in Calderdale.


Calderdale is served by West Yorkshire Police; their Calderdale Division H.Q. are based at Halifax police station [38758]. Other police stations are located in Todmorden [38759] and Brighouse which has recently reopened [38760].

Fire and rescue

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue covers Calderdale and it has six fire stations in the borough. These are located at Brighouse, Elland, King Cross (Halifax Fire Station), Mytholmroyd, Illingworth, and Todmorden [38761].

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