The Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. It takes its name from the River Calder, whose upper part flows through the borough. Several small valleys contain tributaries of the River Calder. The population at the 2011 Census was 203,826.[5]

Borough of Calderdale
‘Industria Arte Prudentia’
(Latin: ‘Industry, skill and foresight’)
Calderdale shown within West Yorkshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Metropolitan countyWest Yorkshire
Admin. HQHalifax
Granted Unitary Status1986
  TypeMetropolitan Borough
  Governing BodyCalderdale Council
  LeadershipLeader & Cabinet
  MayorCouncillor Ferman Ali (Labour)[1]
  Leader of CouncilCllr Tim Swift (Labour)[2]
  Chief ExecutiveRobin Tuddenham[3]
  Total140.5 sq mi (363.9 km2)
 (2001 Census,
2007 population estimates; Religion statistics 2001)
  Total200,100 (Ranked 85th)
  Density1,400/sq mi (550/km2)
91.1% White
6.8% S.Asian
1.0% Mixed Race
69.6% Christian
16.4% No Religion
5.3% Muslim
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areasHD, HX, OL
Dialling Codes01422 (central core)
01484 (Brighouse/Rastrick)
01706 (Todmorden area)
01274 (Shelf area)
ONS code00CY (ONS)
E08000033 (GSS)
Euro. Parlt. Const.Yorkshire & the Humber

Calderdale covers part of the South Pennines and is the southern-most of the Yorkshire Dales, though it is not part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The borough was formed by the merger of six former local government districts, spanning, from east to west, the towns of Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. Mytholmroyd, together with Hebden Bridge, forms Hebden Royd.

Halifax is the main commercial, cultural and administrative centre of the borough, 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. Calderdale is served by Calderdale Council, Calderdale's admin headquarters is in Halifax, with some council organisations based in Todmorden.


The Roman settlement of Cambodunum was probably located within Calderdale. A Roman fort has been excavated in Slack, which is in the neighbouring metropolitan borough of Kirklees, but its identity is not yet certain.

The borough was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the then county borough of Halifax, the boroughs of Brighouse, Todmorden and the urban districts of Elland, Hebden Royd, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge, part of Queensbury and Shelf urban district and Hepton Rural District.

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: The Crossley Heath School, in Savile Park and North Halifax Grammar School in Illingworth.

Both schools achieve excellent GCSE and A-level results, 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.

Calderdale College is a local further education college on Francis Street, in Halifax. In December 2006 it was announced that Calderdale College, in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, would open a new higher education institution in January 2007 called University Centre Calderdale.[6]

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 wards 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; and Warley.[7]

Mayors of Calderdale
  • 1974–75: Joseph Tolan
  • 1975–76: Mrs Kathleen M. Cawdry
  • 1976–77: Mrs Mona Ross Mitchell
  • 1977–78: Eric Dennett
  • 1978–79: Richard Deadman
  • 1979–80: Mrs Betty Wildsmith
  • 1980–81: Harry Wilson
  • 1981–82: Eric Whitehead
  • 1982–83: David Trevor Shutt
  • 1983–84: Kevin Gordon Lord
  • 1984–85: John Bradley
  • 1985–86: Thomas Lawler
  • 1986–87: David J. Fox
  • 1987–88: Wilfred Sharp
  • 1988–89: Albert Berry
  • 1989–90: Joseph Kneafsey
  • 1990–91: Joseph Tolan
  • 1991–92: Thomas J. McElroy
  • 1992–93: William C. A. Carpenter
  • 1993–94: Anthony D. J. Mazey
  • 1994–95: Stephen J. Pearson
  • 1995–96: Graham E. A. Reason
  • 1996–97: Dawn Neal
  • 1997: Susan Tucker
  • 1997–98: Alan Worth
  • 1998–99: Alan Worth
  • 1999–2000: Graham Hall
  • 2000–01: Peter Sephton Coles
  • 2001–02: Chris O'Connor
  • 2002–03: Patrick Phillips
  • 2003–04: Mrs Geraldine Carter
  • 2004–05: Olwen Jean Arlette Jennings
  • 2005–06: John Williamson
  • 2006–07: Colin Stout
  • 2007–08: Martin Peel
  • 2008–09: Conrad Winterburn
  • 2009–10: Arshad Mahmood
  • 2010: Ann McAllister
  • 2010-11: Keith Watson
  • 2011–12: Nader Fekri JP
  • 2012–13: John Hardy
  • 2013–14: Ann Martin
  • 2014–15: Pat Allen
  • 2015-16: Lisa Lambert
  • 2016-17: Howard Blagbrough
  • 2017-18: Ferman Ali
  • 2018-19: Marcus Thompson
  • 2019-20: Dot Foster


The largest ethnic group within Calderdale at the 2011 census was White British at 86.7%, down from 90.8% in 2001.[8] The next largest ethnic group are Pakistanis, comprising 6.8% of the population (4.9% in 2001).[8]

In 2011, Christians comprised 60.6% of the borough's population. This was followed by those of no religion (30.2%) and Muslims (7.8%).[9]

In 2019, those who were not born in the UK formed 8% of Calderdale's population.[10]

Public services


Calderdale is part of the Calderdale Primary Care Trust, South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. The borough has two hospitals and one hospice. The main hospital (part of Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust) is the Calderdale Royal Hospital, located on the main route to Huddersfield in Salterhebble. It has specialist departments: Calderdale's A&E department and the Calderdale Birth Centre.[11] The hospital was built and opened in 2001 on the site of the original Halifax General Hospital. After the new hospital opened, the Royal Halifax Infirmary closed and all services were transferred, as were services from Northowram Hospital. NHS Ambulance services are provided by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service from stations in Halifax, Brighouse and Todmorden. Overgate Hospice provides specialist palliative care for adults in Calderdale. Elland Hospital, Calderdale's only private hospital, is located by the Calderdale Way. Formerly BUPA Elland Independent Hospital, it is now owned and operated by Classic Hospitals.


Calderdale is served by West Yorkshire Police; their Calderdale Division headquarters is at Halifax police station.[12] Other police stations are located in Todmorden[12] and at Brighouse, which has recently reopened.[13]

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.[14]


Calderdale Libraries provides services through 22 local library branches, including a central library in Halifax, and also offer a home library service and digital library service.[15] In 2014, construction began on a new central library and archive building in Halifax, adjacent to the Piece Hall and the Square Chapel.[16][17][18] The new Central Library and Archive officially opened in September 2017.[19]

Freedom of the Borough

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Calderdale.


Military Units


  1. "The Mayoralty". Calderdale Council. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough (28 November 2003). "Introduction: Search for your councillor: Calderdale Council". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  3. "Robin Tuddenham to take over as new Calderdale Council chief executive". Halifax Courier. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  4. "Local statistics - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  5. "Local Authority population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  6. "University Centre Calderdale". Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  7. "Ward profiles 2010". Calderdale Council. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  11. Choices, N. H. S. "Overview - Calderdale Royal Hospital - NHS Choices". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Libraries". Calderdale Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  15. "Central Library and Archive incorporating steeple and ruins of Square Road Church (Amended Plans) | Former Square Road Church Burial Grounds Square Road Halifax Calderdale" (13/00671/LAA). Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  16. "Tour new central library and archive". Calderdale Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  17. "Take extra care while work underway". News Centre - Official news site of Calderdale Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  18. "Our new Central Library opens – the next chapter!". News Centre - Official news site of Calderdale Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  19. "Freedom honour for Paralympian". BBC News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  20. Shaw, Martin (8 November 2019). "Gentleman Jack writer Sally Wainwright set to be given the Freedom of Calderdale". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  21. "Regimental Freedom Scrolls". The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) - Regimental Association. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

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