Cheshire East

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Cheshire East
Borough and Unitary authority
Flag of Cheshire East
Coat of arms of Cheshire East
Coat of arms
Cheshire East shown within Cheshire
Cheshire East shown within Cheshire
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county  Cheshire
Established 1 April 2009
Administrative HQ Sandbach (Westfields)
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Body Cheshire East Council
 • Leadership Leader and cabinet
 • Executive Conservative
 • Leader Rachel Bailey
 • Mayor/Chairman Hilda Gaddum
 • Chief Executive Mike Suarez
 • Total 450 sq mi (1,166 km2)
Area rank 19th
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 374,179
 • Rank 14th
 • Density 830/sq mi (320/km2)
 • Ethnicity 96.7% white
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postcode areas CW
Dialling codes 01260
ISO 3166 code GB-CHE
GSS code E06000049
NUTS 3 code UKD62
ONS code 00EQ

Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council.


The borough council was established in April 2009 as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.[1] It is an amalgamation of the former boroughs of Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe and Nantwich, and includes the functions of the former Cheshire County Council. The residual part of the disaggregated former County Council, together with the other three former Cheshire borough councils (Chester City, Ellesmere Port & Neston and Vale Royal) were, similarly, amalgamated to create the new unitary council of Cheshire West and Chester.

Cheshire East has historic links to textile mills of the industrial revolution, such as seen at Quarry Bank Mill. It is also home to Tatton Park, a historic estate that hosts RHS Show Tatton Park.


Cheshire East lies within North West England. It borders Cheshire West and Chester to the west, Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east as well as Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south. It is home to the Cheshire Plain and the southern hills of the Pennines. The local geology is mostly glacial clay, as well as glacial sands and gravel.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1981 328,500 —    
1986 331,700 +1.0%
1991 340,500 +2.7%
1996 349,900 +2.8%
2001 352,100 +0.6%
2006 362,000 +2.8%
2011 370,700 +2.4%
All totals rounded to nearest hundred
Source: NOMIS

According to the United Kingdom Census 2011 Cheshire East has a population of 370,127 people.[2]


According to the 2011 Census, ethnic white groups (British, Irish, Other) account for 96.7% of the population (357,940 people), with 3.3% of the population (12,187 people) being in ethnic groups other than white (Asian, Black, Other).[3]


A breakdown of religious groups and denominations:

  • Christian: 68.9% (254,940 people)
  • Buddhist: 0.2% (882 people)
  • Hindu: 0.4% (1,328 people)
  • Jewish: 0.1% (581 people)
  • Muslim: 0.7% (2,438 people)
  • Sikh: 0.1% (279 people)
  • Other religions: 0.3% (1,065 people)
  • No religion: 23.4% (83,973 people)
  • Religion not stated: 9.4% (24,641 people)[4]



The 52 wards of Cheshire East are:[5]

  1. Alderley Edge
  2. Alsager
  3. Audlem
  4. Bollington
  5. Brereton Rural
  6. Broken Cross and Upton
  7. Bunbury
  8. Chelford
  9. Congleton East
  10. Congleton West
  11. Crewe Central
  12. Crewe East
  13. Crewe North
  14. Crewe South
  15. Crewe St Barnabas
  16. Crewe West
  17. Dane Valley
  18. Disley
  19. Gawsworth
  20. Handforth
  21. Haslington
  22. High Legh
  23. Knutsford
  24. Leighton
  25. Macclesfield Central
  26. Macclesfield East
  27. Macclesfield Hurdsfield
  28. Macclesfield South
  29. Macclesfield Tytherington
  30. Macclesfield West and Ivy
  31. Middlewich
  32. Mobberley
  33. Nantwich North and West
  34. Nantwich South and Stapeley
  35. Odd Rode
  36. Poynton East and Pott Shrigley
  37. Poynton West and Adlington
  38. Prestbury
  39. Sandbach Elworth
  40. Sandbach Ettiley Heath and Wheelock
  41. Sandbach Heath and East
  42. Sandbach Town
  43. Shavington
  44. Sutton (Sutton Lane Ends)
  45. Willaston and Rope
  46. Wilmslow Dean Row
  47. Wilmslow East
  48. Wilmslow Lacey Green
  49. Wilmslow West and Chorley
  50. Wistaston
  51. Wrenbury
  52. Wybunbury
Ward Civil parishes[Note 1] and unparished areas House of Commons constituency
Alderley Edge Alderley Edge Tatton
Alsager Alsager Congleton
Audlem Audlem Eddisbury
Coole Pilate
Dodcott cum Wilkesley
Bollington Bollington Macclesfield
Higher Hurdsfield
Brereton Rural Arclid Congleton
Hulme Walfield
Somerford Booths
Warmingham Crewe and Nantwich
Broken Cross and Upton Macclesfield Macclesfield
Bunbury Acton Eddisbury
Aston juxta Mondrum
Church Minshull
Minshull Vernon
Chelford Bexton Tatton
Nether Alderley
Peover Inferior
Peover Superior
Congleton East Congleton Congleton
Congleton West Congleton
Crewe Central Crewe Crewe and Nantwich
Crewe East Crewe
Crewe North Crewe
Crewe South Crewe
Shavington cum Gresty
Crewe St Barnabas Crewe
Crewe West Crewe
Haslington Barthomley
Crewe Green
Knutsford Knutsford Tatton
Leighton Crewe Crewe and Nantwich
Leighton Eddisbury
Macclesfield Central Macclesfield Macclesfield
Macclesfield East Macclesfield
Macclesfield Hurdsfield Macclesfield
Macclesfield South Macclesfield
Macclesfield Tytherington Macclesfield
Macclesfield West and Ivy Macclesfield
Middlewich Middlewich Congleton
Nantwich North and West Nantwich Crewe and Nantwich
Nantwich South and Stapeley Batherton
Prestbury Mottram St Andrew Macclesfield
Over Alderley
Sandbach Elworth Sandbach Congleton
Sandbach Ettiley Heath and Wheelock Sandbach
Sandbach Heath and East Sandbach
Sandbach Town Sandbach
Shavington Shavington cum Gresty Crewe and Nantwich
Willaston and Rope Rope
Wilmslow Dean Row Wilmslow Tatton
Wilmslow East Wilmslow
Wilmslow Lacey Green Styal
Wilmslow West and Chorley Chorley
Wistaston Willaston Crewe and Nantwich
Wrenbury Baddiley Eddisbury
Marbury cum Quoisley
Wrenbury cum Frith
Wybunbury Blakenhall Crewe and Nantwich
Checkley cum Wrinehill
  1. ^ 1: Civil parishes highlighted in bold have unilaterally declared town status under section 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Members of Parliament

Constituency Member of Parliament Political party
Congleton Fiona Bruce Conservative Party
Crewe and Nantwich Edward Timpson
Eddisbury Antoinette Sandbach
Macclesfield David Rutley
Tatton George Osborne

Members of the European Parliament

Cheshire East forms part of the North West England constituency, which elects eight members to the European Parliament using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Constituency Member of the European Parliament National political party European political party
North West England Louise Bours UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe
Jacqueline Foster Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
Theresa Griffin Labour Party Party of European Socialists
Sajjad Karim Conservative Party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
Afzal Khan Labour and Co-operative Party Party of European Socialists
Paul Nuttall UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe
Julie Ward Labour Party Party of European Socialists
Steven Woolfe UK Independence Party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe


Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Mrs Margaret Simon, at Sandbach Transport Festival

At the last Cheshire County Council election in 2005 there were 15 Conservative controlled wards, 6 Labour controlled wards, 5 Liberal Democrat controlled wards and 1 ward controlled by an independent within the unitary authority boundaries.[6]

The first elections for Cheshire East Council took place on 1 May 2008, with the Conservative Party taking overall control. The Conservatives took 59 of the 81 seats with the others being held by the Liberal Democrats (12), Labour (6), 3 members of Middlewich First and one Independent.[7] The first leader of the authority was Wesley Fitzgerald who was elected at Cheshire East's inaugural meeting on Tuesday 13 May 2008. Wesley Fitzgerald is a Councillor for the Wilmslow South ward. Having decided in February 2012 to step down, a leadership contest was triggered. Michael Jones – a relatively new councillor having been elected in the May 2011 elections – was elected as the Leader of the Conservative Group on 17 March 2012.

The administrative centre for Cheshire East Council is Westfields in Sandbach, the former Headquarters of Congleton Borough Council.[8] The site could be expanded if needed as there is space around the newly built centre.[9] Cheshire East is an observer member of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities of Greater Manchester, which borders Cheshire to the north.



Motorways and primary routes in the borough which are maintained by Highways England (trunk roads de jure) include the M6, M56 and the A556. Other primary routes which are maintained by the council (principal roads de jure) include the A6, A34, A49, A50, A51, A54, A56, A500, A523, A525, A530, A534, A536, A537, A538, A555, A556, A5020 and A5033.

Major road projects

A556 Knutsford to Bowdon Improvement: A new five-mile four-lane dual-carriageway bypass of Bucklow Hill and Mere Crossroads on the A556 is currently under construction by Highways England at a cost of between £165-£221 million. The new road will also contain the first 'green bridge' wildlife crossing in the United Kingdom. The existing road will be narrowed to one lane in each direction and re-designated as the B5569 under the maintenance of Cheshire East Council.[10][11]

M6 Junctions 16-19: Smart Motorway: Highways England are preparing to convert the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane and introduce a variable speed limit along this section of the M6, meaning that it will become the first smart motorway in Cheshire. The scheme is expected to cost between £192-£274 million.[12]

Crewe Green Link Road South: A dual-carriageway extension of Crewe Green Link Road is being constructed between the A5020 and Weston Gate Roundabout on the A500 by Cheshire East Council at a cost of £26.5 million.[13]

Local sites of interest

The area is home to a large number of sites of public interest:

  • Tatton Park is the venue for a variety of events: classical concerts; fireworks displays; classic car shows; open-air theatre and the Country Show (massed pipes and drums, sheepdog trials, competitions, crafts fair, and dancing).[14]
  • the Tatton Estate is privately owned with over 1,000 people living and working on it in town (Knutsford), in villages such as Rostherne and Ashley, and in the rural parishes surrounding. The new Ashley Hall Showground and Event Centre hosts events such as the Cheshire Ploughing and Hedge Laying Competition, the Ashley Hall Traction Engine Rally and charity barn dances.[15]
  • Gawsworth Hall is a half-timbered hall, and possibly once home to Shakespeare's 'Dark Lady'. Concerts are held in the grounds, and each summer there is an open-air theatre season, featuring Shakespearean classics and light opera, comedy, jazz, and drama.[16]
  • Cuckooland Museum is a reputed museum which exhibits the world's largest and finest collection of antique cuckoo clocks.[17]
  • Arley Hall is a Victorian-Jacobean Grade II listed country house, sometimes used as locations for filming. There has been two Coronation Street weddings filmed here.[18]
  • Quarry Bank Mill is set in the village of Styal and is a working water-mill and living museum.[19]
  • Capesthorne Hall is a Jacobean-style stately home which plays host to a variety of events.[20]
  • Alderley Edge is a great sandstone escarpment that overlooks the Cheshire plain.[21] The Edge itself has been mined for copper since at least the time of the Roman invasion, and is the centre of the legend of the Wizard of Alderley,[22] made famous by local author Alan Garner's books The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. Nowadays it is said that the Wizard was Merlin, but this is an addition that only appeared over the past thirty years. Tours of the mines are available, but should not be attempted without an experienced guide – the Edge is riddled with mineshafts.
  • St James' and St Paul's Church, Marton is a 14th-century house of worship which lies on an artificial mound or earthwork.[23]
  • Knutsford is best known as the site where King Canute forded the Lily Stream, and as the home of Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell, and the town holds a May Day parade and festival every year.[24]
  • Lyme Park is an estate and park located near Disley. Lyme Hall is the principal feature of the park.[25]
  • Little Moreton Hall is one of the country's best-preserved half-timbered and moated manor houses.[26]
  • Sandbach Crosses are two Anglo-Saxon stone crosses now erected in the market place in the town of Sandbach, Cheshire, England .[27] They are recognised as a Grade I listed building[28] and a scheduled monument.[29]
  • Old Hall Hotel is a Grade I listed building.[28] The Hall is on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register as priority A, this is the highest grading.[30]
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory is home to a number of significant radio telescopes including the Lovell Telescope; and is involved in a range of international research projects such as MERLIN.

Twin towns

The former borough of Macclesfield was twinned with Germany Eckernförde, Germany.[31]

Twinning remains active in the Crewe and Nantwich area. The town of Crewe began twinning with the town of Mâcon in France in 1957. This continued when the borough of Crewe and Nantwich was formed in 1974. The borough added the town of Bischofsheim in Germany in 1991. In 2003 the administration of twinning was passed to CANTA, the Crewe and Nantwich Twinning Association, a voluntary association supported by the borough. The association immediately added Dzierżoniów in Poland as a Friendship Town. The Association has received continuing support from Cheshire East after the borough became part of the new authority.[32]


  1. Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008
  6. Cheshire county council elections 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  7. "Council and Democracy". Cheshire East Council. Retrieved 26 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Wilmslow Express Council's seat of power is Sandbach
  9. "Westfields to be extended". Retrieved 24 July 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Retrieved 5 December 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Retrieved 5 December 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. . Highways England Retrieved 12 December 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Retrieved 12 December 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Tatton Park website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  15. Tatton Estate website. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  16. Gawsworth Hall website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  17. Times Online article; Time for a change: to 600 antique cuckoo clocks
  18. Arley Hall and Gardens website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  19. Quarry Bank Mill website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  20. Capesthorne Hall website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  21. Information site about Alderley Edge. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  22. Wizard of Alderley information. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  23. St James' and St Paul's Church, Marton information. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  24. History of Knutsford. Virtual Knutsford website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  25. Lyme Park Information. National Trust website. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  26. "Little Moreton Hall". The National Trust. Retrieved 27 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Revealing Cheshire's Past: Saxon places to visit, Cheshire County Council, retrieved 12 October 2007<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 Images of England: Sandbach crosses, English Heritage, retrieved 17 July 2007<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "images" defined multiple times with different content
  29. Revealing Cheshire's Past:Sandbach Crosses, Cheshire County Council, retrieved 4 April 2009<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Don't let old hall crumble, crewe chronicle, retrieved 25 August 2008<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Details of twinning arrangements. Macclesfield Borough Official Website. Retrieved 25 September 2007.

External links