Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire County Council is the county council for the English non-metropolitan county of Leicestershire. It was originally formed in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888. The county is divided into 52 electoral divisions, which return a total of 55 councillors. The council is controlled by the Conservative Party. The leader of the county council is currently Nick Rushton, who was elected to the post in September 2012. The headquarters of the council is County Hall beside the A50 at Glenfield, just outside the city of Leicester in Blaby district.

Leicestershire County Council
Chair of the Council
Cllr Pam Posnett, Conservative
since 15 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Nicholas Rushton, Conservative
since 2012
Chief executive
John Sinnott
Seats55 councillors
Political groups
     Conservative (36)
Other parties
     Liberal Democrat (13)
     Labour (6)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
May 2021
Meeting place
County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire


From its establishment in 1889 to 1974 the county council covered the administrative county of Leicestershire, excluding Leicester. In 1974 the Local Government Act reconstituted Leicestershire County Council, adding the former county borough of Leicester, and the small county of Rutland to the area. On 1 April 1997 these were removed from the county council area again, to become unitary authorities.

Districts and boroughs

Leicestershire has three tiers of local government. These tiers are the county council, seven district or borough councils and parish councils all of which charge a mandatory tax in return for a service. In urban areas the work of the parish council is likely to be undertaken by the county or district council. The seven district councils in Leicestershire are:[1]

These district councils are responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism[2]

Political control

Leicestershire County Council consists of 55 elected members, from 52 wards. The most recent election was the May 2017 elections, where all seats were up for re-election. Following these elections[3] the current political composition of the council is as follows.

Political group Councillors
2017 Current
Conservative 36 36
Liberal Democrat 13 13
Labour 6 6
Total 55 55
Vacant 1

Elections were held for the reconstituted county council (including Leicester and Rutland) in 1973, leading to no overall control. 1977 saw the Conservative Party take control, but they lost it again in 1981. Elections in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 1997 continued No Overall Control. The Conservatives took control in 2001, helped in part by the removal of the strongly Labour-voting Leicester from the county.[4]

The council's cabinet has, as of December 2015, the following members, with the following portfolios:

  • Nick Rushton – leader, with responsibility for economic development and strategic relationships
  • Byron Rhodes – deputy leader, with responsibility for resources (also leader of Melton Borough Council)
  • Ivan Ould – lead member for children and young people, including the Supporting Leicestershire Families programme
  • Dave Houseman – lead member for adult social care
  • Blake Pain – lead member for economic development, property and waste management
  • Peter Osborne – lead member for highways and transport
  • Ernie White – lead member for health and wellbeing, including sport
  • Pam Posnett – lead member for communities
  • Richard Blunt – lead member for heritage, leisure and arts and planning (also leader of North West Leicestershire District Council)
  • Joe Orson – lead member for safer communities and policing and chair of the police and crime panel


There are six departments:

  • Corporate Resources (including property, finance, HR, communications, country parks and traded services)
  • Environment and Transport (including highways, transport and waste)
  • Adults and Communities (including adult social care, museums, libraries and adult learning)
  • Children and Family Services (including children's social care and school support)
  • Public health (which commissions a wide range of public health services, including smoking cessation, school nurses and sport and fitness programmes)
  • Chief Executive's (including policy, democratic services, trading standards, registration services, planning, legal services)

Key responsibilities

In the five years to 2015, the council's roles and responsibilities changed significantly, due to austerity savings, the transfer of public health from the NHS to the council and many schools becoming academies, independent of the council.

However, that still left a number of key responsibilities. As of December 2015, these are: social care for adults and children; support for schools; highways and transport; public health; waste disposal; economic development; libraries and museums; strategic planning; trading standards; country parks; registration of births, marriages and deaths; and community leadership.

Financial situation

The council claims to be the lowest-funded county council,[5] yet one of the top three best performers, across a wide range of indicators.[6]

From 2010–2015, the council has had to save £100 million – two-thirds as efficiency savings and the remainder from services. The council has predicted it will have to save more from services as austerity continues, with a further £100 million-plus of savings required over the next four years.

As of 2015/16, the council's annual budget was £348 million and it had just over 5,000 full-time equivalent staff.

Electoral divisions

Electoral divisionCouncillors
Blaby and Glen Parva1
Braunstone Town1
Cosby and Countesthorpe1
Enderby Meridian1
Kirby Muxloe and Leicester Forest East1
Narborough and Whetstone1
Stanton Croft and Normanton1
Loughborough East1
Loughborough North1
Loughborough North West1
Loughborough South1
Loughborough South West1
Quorn and Barrow[7]1
Rothley and Mountsorrel1
Sileby and The Wolds[8]1
Syston Fosse1
Syston Ridgeway1
Broughton Astley1
Market Harborough East1
Market Harborough West and Foxton1
Burbage Castle2
Earl Shilton1
Groby and Ratby1
Market Bosworth1
Markfield Desford and Thornton1
Melton North1
Melton South1
Ashby de la Zouch1
Castle Donington1
Forest and Measham1
Ibstock and Appleby[9]1
Warren Hills1
Wigston Bushloe1
Wigston Poplars1
Wigston South1

Notable members

See also


  1. "The County Council – Local Government in Leicestershire". Leicestershire County Council. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. "Glossary of Local Government Terms". thelocalchannel.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. "Election Results 2017". BBC. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  4. "Election 2005 Seat-by-seat: Leicestershire council". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  5. "Statement on the Council's Budget Situation". Leicestershire County Council. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  6. "Leicestershire County Council Annual Performance Report 2015 – Dashboards". LeicesterShire Statistics & Research. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  7. Linked to Barrow upon Soar.
  8. Linked to Burton on the Wolds.
  9. Linked to major village of Appleby Magna.
  10. Webster, Richard (5 January 1999). "Manners maketh man". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
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