Catalogue description COUNTY COUNCIL ARCHIVES

This record is held by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of C
Reference: C

Department Records


CA Architect


CA Plans


CA 2 Correspondence


CAX Publications


CE Education


CED Education Department - Divisional Executives


CED 1 Dukinfield and Stalybridge


CED 2 Hyde


CED 3 Stockport


CED 4 Mid-Cheshire


CED 5 Ellesmere Port and Chester Rural


CED 6 Runcorn


CED 7 Macclesfield and District


CED 8 Crewe


CED 9 Nantwich


CED 10 S E Cheshire


CED 11 Cheadle and Wilmslow


CED 12 Bebington


CED 13 Knutsford and District


CED 14 Deeside


CED 15 Widnes


CED 16 Tarvin and District


CED 17 Chester City


CED 18 Divisional Executive Committee minutes; reports


CEF District (post-1974) - Education


CEF 1 Warrington


CEF 2 Halton


CEF 3 Chester & Ellesmere Port (i.e. Chester & EP & Nelson)


CEF 4 Vale Royal


CEF 5 Macclesfield


CEF 6 South Cheshire (i.e. Congleton, & & Nantwill.)


Education Department


CE 1 Educational Policy


CE 2 Accounts


CE 3 Reports


CE 4 Registers


CE 5 Agricultural Education


CEX Department Publications


CEN Environment


CEN 1 Group


CEN 2 Economic Development


CEN 3 Highways


CEN 4 Waste Disposal


CEN 5 Environmental Planning


CEN 6 Transport Coordination


CF Fire Brigade


CF 1 National Fire Service


CF 2 National Fire Service - Region X


CF 3 National Fire Service - Fire Force 27


CF 4 County Fire Service Fire Reports and Daily Log Books


CF 5 Correspondence


CF 6 Brigade Orders; Training Memoranda


CFX Departmental Publications


CFM Finance and Management Services


CFM 1 Group


CFM 2 Exchequer


CFM 3 Finance and Management Accounting


CFM 4 Information and Systems Development


CFM 5 Consultancy


CH Highways and Transportation


CH 1 Plans of Roads


CH 2 Correspondence


CH 3 Registers


CH 4 Accounts


CH 5 Photographs


CH 6 Motorway Construction Contracts


CHX Departmental Publications


CHe Health


CHe 1 Correspondence of the County Medical Officer


CHe 2 Vaccination contracts


CHe 3 Miscellaneous


CHeX Publications


CIL Information and Leisure Services


CIL 1 Group


CIL 2 Fair Trading and Advice


CIL 3 Heritage and Recreation


CIL 4 Library, Arts and Archives


CJP Police Now located at Duke Street


CJP 1-9 James Collection


CJP 10-19 Divisional Records


CJP 20 Crewe Training Centre


CJP 21 Monthly Road Accident Reports


CJP 22 Chief Constable's Weekly Orders


CJP 23 Police Authority Budgets


CJP 24 General Orders


CJP 25 Hunt Collection


CJPX Departmental Publications


CL Libraries


CL 1 Minutes; Agendas; Index


CL 2 Reports to Committee


CL 3 Accounts


CL 4 Correspondence


CL 5 Correspondence - Particular Libraries


CL 6 Personnel and Training


CL 7 Photographs


CL 8 Divisional Records


CLX Departmental Publications


CM Management Services


CM 1 Reports by the Organisation and Methods/Management Advistory Unit


CM 2 Work study reports


CM 3 Reports commissioned


CM 4 Progress and Assignment lists


COR Community Programme Scheme


CP1 Planning


CPA Joint Planning Authorities


CPA 1 General


CPA 2 Mid-Cheshire Area 1 Planning Committee


CPA 3 Mid-Cheshire Area 2 Planning Committee


CPA 4 Mid-Cheshire Area 3 Planning Committee


CPA 5 Mid-Cheshire Area 4 Planning Committee


CPA 6 Mid-Cheshire Area 5 Planning Committee


CPD Dobson Chapman Planning Consultants


CP1 Planning Department


CP1 1 Cheshire County Council Development Plan


CP1 1/1 General


CP1 1/2 Town Maps


CP1 1/3 Comprehensive Development Areas


CP1 1/4 Green Belts


CP1 2 Registers of Planning Applications


CP1 3 Maps and Plans


CP1X Departmental Publications


CPS Probation Service


CPS 1 Chester Police Court Mission


CPS 2 Cheshire Probation Committee


CPS 3 Chester Probation Office


CPS 4 Macclesfield Probation Office


CPS 5 Prestbury Probation Office


CS Social Services


CS 1 Public Assistance Dept


CS 2 Welfare Dept


CS 3 Registers - General


CS 4 Institutions - Paricular


CS 5 Social Services Correspondence


CSX Departmental Publications


CSU Support Services


CSU 1 Group


CSU 2 Architectural and Building Services


CSU 3 Property Management


CSU 4 Legal and Member Services


CSU 5 Central Services


CT Treasury


CTA Accounts


CTA 1 General Ledgers


CTA 2 Treasurer's Day Books


CTA 3 Capital Expenditure Ledgers


CTA 4 Rents and Acknowledgements


CTA 5 Education - General Ledgers


CTA 6 Elementary Education Ledgers


CTA 7 Higher Education Ledgers


CTA 8 Education Treasurer's Accounts


CTA 9 Agricultural Education Ledgers


CTA 10 Miscellaneous


CTA 11 Smallholdings and Allotments - General


CTA 12 Smallholdings and Allotments - Treasurer's accounts


CTA 13 Smallholdings and Allotments - Rent Rolls


CTA 14 Smallholdings and Allotments - Day Books


CTA 15 Smallholdings and Allotments - Various


CTA 16 Highways and Bridges - General


CTA 17 Highways and Bridges - Various


CTA 18 Police Pension Fund


CTA 19 Public Health; Wrenbury Hall


CTA 20 Public Assistance and Welfare


CTA 21 Catchment and Drainage Boards


CTA 22 County Boroughs Continuing Liability Claims


CTA 23 Emergency Cooking Depots


CTA 24 North Cheshire Regional Planning Committee


CTA 25 H M S Conway Navy Cadet School


CTA 26 County Fire Brigade


CTA 27 Clerk of the Council's Imprest Account


CTS Superannuation


CTS 1 Cheshire Constabulary Superannuation fund


CTS 2 County Council Superannuation Fund


CTS 3 Federated Superannuation Scheme for Nurses


CTS 4 Bucklow Superannuation Joint Committee


CTS 5 Runcorn Union


CT Treasury


CT 1 Correspondence of the Treasurer


CT 2 Legal Policy Files


CT 3 Correspondence and papers of the County Accountant


CTX Department and Publications


CTX 1 Accounts


CTX 2 General


CTX 3 Research and Intelligence


CU Union


CV Valuation and Estates


CW Weights and Measures


CW 1 Correspondence


CW 2 Registers


CW 3 Reports


CW 4 Division 1 - Chester/Wirral


CW 5 Division 2 - Nantwich


CW 6 Division 3 - Northwich


CW 7 Miscellaneous


CC Secretariat


CCAd Administration


CCAd 1 County Council Offices


CCAd 2 Personnel


CCAd 2/1 Long Service Awards


CCAd 2/2 Recruitment


CCAd 2/3 Registers of Employees


CCAd 2/4 Correspondence


CCAd 3 Correspondence Files.


CCAr Archives - County Record Office


CCAr 1 Catalogues


CCAr 2 Terriers


CCAr 3 Accessions Registers


CCAr 4 Registers - General


CCAr 5 Correspondence


CCAr 6 Miscellaneous


CCC County Council and Committees - Minute Books; Agendas and Reports


CCC1/1 County Council


CCC1/2 Education


CCC1/3 Public Assistance; Health and Social Services


CCC1/4 Agriculture; Land and Buildings


CCC1/5 Finance; Policy and Resources


CCC1/6 Parliamentary and Organisation


CCC1/7 Strategic Planning and Transportation


CCC1/8 Library, Arts and Countryside


CCC1/9 Emergency Services and Public Protection


Joint Committees


CCCJ/1 Standing Joint Committee; Police


CCCJ/2 Health and Social Services


CCCJ/3 Education


CCCJ/4 Planning


CCCJ/5 River Boards/Water Authorities


CCCJ/6 Finance


CCCJ/7 Parliamentary and Organisation


CCCJ/8 Libraries and Countryside


County Committees - Legal


CCCL/1 Probation


CCCL/2 Magistrates' Courts


County Committees - Administrative


CCCA/1 Deputies, Assistant Clerks and Solicitors


CCCA/2 Section Heads and Senior Staff


CCCA/3 Co-ordinating Group of Officers for New Cheshire


CCCA/4 County Secretariat Management Team


CCCA/5 Cheshire Secretaries Liason Group


CCCA/6 Chief Officers' Board


CCCA/7 Chief Executives' Liason


CCCA/8 Co-ordination of Building Programmes Working Party


Reports to the County Council


CCC2/1 Chairman's Triennial Address


CCC2/2 Reports of the Medical Officer of Health


CCC2/3 Reports of the Chief School Medical Officer


CCC2/4 Reports of the County T.B. Officer


CCC2/5 Reports of the County Children's Officer


CCC2/6 Reports of the Chief Fire Officer


CCC2/7 Reports of the Chief Constable


CCC2/8 Reports of the Chief Constable (Quarterly)


CCC2/9 Budgets


CCC2/10 Reports of the Upton Asylum Visiting Committee


CCC2/11 Reports of the Parkside Asylum Visiting Committee


CCC2/12 Reports of the National Health Service Executive Council for Cheshire.


CCC2/13 Reports of the Cheshire Combined Probation Area.


CCC2/14 Reports of Cheshire County Council.


Year Books; Calendars; Standing Orders; Committee Manuals


CCC3/1 Year Books


CCC3/2 Calendars


CCC3/3 Standing Orders of the County Council.


CCC3/4 Standing Orders of Committees; Committee Manuals




CCC4/1 Official Record of County Council Members.


CCC4/2 Registers of Attendance


CCC4/3 Registers of Disclosures and General Notices


CCC4/4 Registers of Declarations of Acceptance of Office.


CCC4/5 Registers of representatives on outside bodies.


Seal Registers; Registers of Documents signed by the County Clerk Seal


CCC5/1 County Council Seal Registers.


CCC5/2 Registers of Documents signed by the Clerk to the County Council.


CCC5/3 Cheshire Police Authority Seal Registers.


CCC5/4 Registers of Documents signed by the Clerk to the Police Authority.


CCC5/5 Cheshire County Council Seal.






CCD Civil Defence and Emergency Planning


CCD 1 Air Raids Precautions Committee


CCD Correspondence Files


CCDX Publications


CCDP Deposited Maps and Plans


CCDP 1 County Council Electoral Districts


CCDP 2 Parliamentary Constituencies


CCDP 3 Petty Sessional Divisions and Coroners' Districts.


CCDP 4 Poor Law Unions


CCDP 5 Deposited Plans


CCDP 6 Review of County Districts


CCDP 7 Local Government Boundary Commission


CCDP 8 Miscellaneous


CCE Education


CCE 1 Transfer of non-provided schools to Cheshire Education Authority under the Education Act, 1902


CCE 2 Reports of Educational Resources in Cheshire under the 1902 Act.


CCE Correspondence Files


CCE 4 Instruments of Government for Schools.


CCE 5 Children's Road Safety Committee


CCF Fire Brigade


CCF Correspondence Files


CCF 2 Local Government Re-organisation Working


CCF 3 County Secretary - Correspondence Files


CCFI Finance Committee


CCFI Correspondence Files


CCGO General Office Correspondence Files


Listing of Files available to Public Access - in file number order - in preparation.


CCH Highways


Traffic Regulations and Orders


CCH 1/1 Speed Limits


CCH 1/2 Traffic Regulation Orders


CCH 1/3 Lancs. Traffic Regulation Orders


CCH 1/4 Restricted Roads Orders


CCH 1/5 Built Up Areas Orders


Highways, Footpath and other Orders


CCH 2/1 Rights of Way and Footpath Dedications - Rights of Way Act, 1932 ; Highways Acts, 1959 and 1980.


CCH 2/2 Restriction of Ribbon Development Act, 1935.


CCH 2/3 Footpath Diversion Orders


CCH 2/4 Footpath Stopping up Orders


CCH 2/5 Ellesmere Port Motorway


CCH 2/6 Ministry of Defence establishments


CCH 2/7 Compulsory Purchase Orders


CCH 2/8 Traffic Regulation Orders


CCH 2/9 Swansea M/C Trunk Road


CCH 2/10 Side Road Orders


CCH 2/11 Highways Stopping up Orders


CCH 2/12 Footpath Extinction Orders


CCH 2/13 Section 4 Agreement - Improvement of Trunk Roads


CCH 2/14 Alderley Edge-Wilmslow-Handforth Motorway


CCH 3 Public Footpaths and Rights of Way - Map and Statements - National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949.


CCH 4 Road Maintenance Contracts


CCH 5 Correspondence.


CCH 6 Mid-Cheshire Road Safety Committee


CCJ Joint Boards and Committees


CCJ 1 River Gowy Drainage Board


CCJ 2 War Relief Committee; War Pensions Act Schemes


CCJ 3 Cheshire Joint Board for the Mentally Defective


CCJ 4 Cheshire Rivers Board


CCJ 5 Proposed Joint Board - Mobberley Brook Sewage


CCJ 6 Rivers Birket and Fender Catchment Board


CCJ 7 River Weaver Catchment Board


CCJ 8 Cheshire Joint Vagrancy Committee


CCJ 9 Mersey and Irwell Joint Committee


CCL Local Taxation and Motor Vehicle Licencing


CCL 1 Registers of Motor Vehicle Licences


CCL 2 Indexes to Registers of Licence Numbers.


CCL 3 Register of Trade Plates


CCL 4 Motor Vehicle Registration Cards


CCL 5 Statutory Orders - Motor Vehicles


CCL 6 Correspondence of the Local Taxation Officer


CCL 7 Staff Records


CCL 8 Miscellaneous


CCLe Legal


CCLe 1 Legal Charge Certificates


CCLe 2 Mortgages and Loans


CCLe 3 Counsel's Legal Opinions


CCLe 4 High Court Appeals and Legal Cases


CCLe 5 Clerk's Legal Case Files; Local Government Orders and Bye-laws.


CCLe 6 Staff Mortgages


CCLe 7 Agreements - Defunct


CCLe 8 Licencing Compensation Committee


M Mortgages


CCLi Lieutenancy


CCLi 1 Cheshire Advisory Committee


CCLi 2 Appointments


CCLi 3 Correspondence of the Clerk to the Lieutenancy


CCLi 4 Cheshire Advisory Committee on the Appointment of General Commissioners of Income Tax.


CCLi 5 Miscellaneous


CCP Parliamentary and Local Government


Bye-laws - see also CCLe 5.


CCP 1/1-2 Cheshire County Council


CCP 1/3 Local Organisations


CCP 1/4 Borough Councils


CCP 1/5 Urban District Councils


CCP 1/6 Rural District Councils


CCP 1/7 District Councils


Local Government Orders - see also CCLe 5.


CCP 3 Local Government Orders re local authorities


CCP 4 Local Government Act 1929 and Boundary Reviews 1933, 1936 (uncatalogued)


CCP 5 Parliamentary Bills re Cheshire area - correspondence and papers.


CCP 6 Local Parliamentary Acts - Deposited (includes


Acts deposited with the Clerk of the Peace from 1736).


CCP 7 Instruments of Government Orders under the Education Act


CCP 8 Parliamentary Committee Correspondence Files


CCP 9 Brine Legislation


CCP 10 Weaver Navigation Legislation


CCP 11 Local Government Act 1888 - Financial Adjustments


CCP 13 Railway Rates and Charges Committee


CCP Correspondence Files


CCP1 Planning


Listed Buildings and Ancient Monuments


CCP1 Listed Buildings


CCP1 1/53 Photographs of Listed Buildings


CCP1 1/54 Scheduled Ancient Monuments.


Planning Orders


CCP1 2/1 Registers of Planning Orders.


CCP1 2/2 Tree Preservation Orders - County Council


CCP1 2/3 Tree Preservation Orders - District Council


CCP1 2/4 Delegation of Tree Planting


CCP1 2/5 Delegation of Planning Functions


CCP1 2/6 Control of demolition in conservation areas


CCP1 2/7 Orders, directions and agreements under the Planning Acts


CCP1 2/8 Discontinuance of use orders


CCP1 2/9 Building Preservation Orders


CCP1 2/10 General Development Orders


CCP1 2/11 Manchester Ship Canal Agreement


CCP1 2/12 Agreements under the CCC Act (1950)


CCP1 2/13 Runcorn New Town


CCP1 2/14 Plans and Schemes of other authorities


CCP1 2/15 Peak District National Park Annual reports


Cheshire County Development Plan


CCP1 3/1 Dobson Chapman Plan


CCP1 3/2 County Development Plan - see also CPL 1.


CCP1 3/3 County Borough Development Plans.


CCP1 4 Lancashire County Council/Warrington Borough Development Plans




CCP1 5 Town and Country Planning Committee Correspondence.


CCQ 2 River Pollution, 1900, 1906, 1920.


CCQ 3/1 Mersey and West Lancs. Electricity Supply, 1919.


CCQ 3/2 Toft-Wythenshawe Road Compulsory Purchase Orders, 1931.


CCQ 4/1 Runcorn R.D.C. Sewage Disposal, 1933.


CCQ 4/2 Runcorn Water Extension Scheme, 1935.


CCQ 5 North Cheshire Regional Planning Scheme, 1938.


CCQ 6 Chester Police Force Amalgamation, 1948.


CCQ 7/1 River Dee - West Cheshire Water Board works, 1950


CCQ 7/2 River Dee - Wrexham and East Denbighshire Water Co., 1950.


CCQ 7/3 River Dee - Water Abstraction, 1952.


CCQ 8 Cheshire County Development Plan, 1952.


CCQ 9/1-2 Mobberley and Lymm - proposed New Town, 1953.


CCQ 9/3 Lymm - proposed New Town, 1958.


CCQ 10 Winsford Town Map Enquiry, 1960.


CCQ 11 Town and Country Planning Act Orders, 1958, 1960.


CCQ 12 Hooton - proposed motor-car factory, 1960.


CCQ 13 Wilmslow - Town Plan, 1968.


CCQ 14 Chester Southerly By-Pass, 1972.


CCQ 15 Ince - Shellstar Development Scheme, 1976.


CCQ 16 Moston - proposed ASDA retail superstore, 1976.


CCQ 17 River Dee Estuary Ownership, 1976.


CCQ 18 Town and Country Planning Act - Sand working at Beestongate Farm, Bunbury, 1977.


CCQ 19 Town and Country Planning Act - Sand working at Hogshead Wood, Oakmere - 1987.


CCRg Registration


CCRg 1-8 Registers of Electors.


CCRg 9 Registers of Charities


CCRg 10 Registers of Common Land and Village Greens


CCRg 11 Register of Waste Disposal Site Licenses


CCRg 12 Schedules of Ancient Monuments


CCRg 13 Registers - Miscellaneous


CCV County Valuation Committee


CCV 1-2 Miscellaneous Papers.


CCX Departmental Publications


CCX 1 Administration and Staff


CCX 2 Local Government Re-organisation


CCX 3 Public Relations and Publicity

Date: 19th cent-20th cent
Held by: Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Cheshire County Council

Physical description: 22 Sub fonds
Administrative / biographical background:

The Local Government Act of 1888 created an elected county council to govern all of Cheshire except the city of Chester and the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Stockport (and in 1913 also Wallasey). The new county councils took over the administrative functions of the old Quarter Sessions, which then retained its legal duties only (see QS).


The county councillors elected before the First World War were drawn from the manufacturing and mercantile classes already well represented in the county magistracy, rather than from the great landed families. They reflected the growing urbanisation of Cheshire, with the expansion of the railway system. The County Council met at the Crewe Arms Hotel in Crewe, the hub of the railway network, until the new County Hall was built in Chester in 1957.


The new county councillors were closely involved in the daily administration of the county and employed only a handful of professional officers at the outset. The main officer was the County Clerk; the Potts family combined this office and that of clerk of the peace with running their family solicitors' practice until 1932. The first active Clerk, Reginald Potts, received a salary of £2,000 in 1891 out of which he had to pay his own staff of twenty people.


The office of County Treasurer was abolished by the County Council in favour of representation by a bank official; the County Accountant who was appointed by Quarter Sessions in 1886 continued in that role under the new county council at an increased salary. The two titles were revived and used by the County Accountant and Treasurer from 1915 to 1950; he was succeeded by the County Treasurer from 1950 until 1989.


Other posts which pre-existed and continued in the same hands with the formation of the County Council in 1889 were those of County Surveyor, Analyst and Chief Constable. New posts included Inspector of Weights and Measures and County Medical Officer of Health (in 1893). Most of the county's early officials combined their duties with working for other authorities or their own professional interests. The early Cheshire county council had few statutory responsibilities and a small income compared with the rapidly expanding county boroughs and nearby cities of Manchester and Liverpool.


Before 1900 the main business of the county council was the administration of highways, police and justice. The main committees were Finance, Parliamentary, Roads and Bridges and Weights and Measures. The Technical Instruction Act of 1890 and, more importantly, the Education Act of 1902 brought a whole new area of administration under the county council's control. Before 1902 elementary education had been supplied by voluntary and religious bodies.


More frequent council meetings became necessary, and a heavier reliance on professional staff. A new Education department was set up and the cost of providing such wide-ranging education services quickly took up half of the council's total annual expenditure. In the period from 1919-1939 the council was expected to find half of its income from rates, having previously supplied its needs from revenues alone - without levying a general rate. The new council departments developed in a piecemeal fashion in the 1910s and 1920s and each tended to act as an autonomous body with offices scattered across Chester: the Clerk in Northgate House, the Treasurer at the Castle, the Director of Education in City Road and the Surveyor in Watergate House.


Additional powers under the Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908 led to the growth of a network of small holdings across the county to provide small tenant farmers with affordable farms, and after the First World War to settle former soldiers on the land. An Estates department developed to administer these holdings and the county's increasing stock of other properties.


In the period before the Second World War, the county council had wide-ranging powers over public health matters and employed seven District Officers of Health. The council was empowered to build hospitals, sanatoria and lunatic asylum, inspect housing, license midwives and run clinics, and after 1911 the county administered national insurance. The Local Government Act of 1929 further increased the county's duties with the transfer of welfare provision from the old Poor Law Unions and Boards of Guardians. A Welfare Officer and Public Assistance Officer were appointed in 1929 and 1930.


The 1929 Act also gave the county council new duties to maintain minor roads, extending its control of highway provisions and maintenance. County councils were given a new status over district councils and municipal boroughs, the beginnings of the two-tier system. Their duties were wide-ranging over health, welfare, roads and education. In the late 20s and 30s the county councils entered several legal disputes with its neighbouring county boroughs over boundaries, leading to increased reliance on its expert professional staff to represent its interests. Large scale migration from the surrounding urban areas into Cheshire increased the county's income from rates but also threatened its autonomy in those areas. New private housing sprang up in Altrincham, Cheadle and Wirral, adding to Cheshire's rateable value and population; conversely Manchester succeeded in acquiring land in Cheshire for the satellite town of Wythenshawe in 1930.


A county library network was also established in the 1920s as part of the Education Department; the first County Librarian took office in 1922.


The immediate post-war period also saw a massive expansion in the powers and influence of the County Council and a consequent expansion in the numbers of paid staff, and particularly trained career administrators. Educational provision up to secondary level was placed under the control of the county councils under the 1944 Education Act. The National Health Service Act 1946, while transferring many hospital services to a central body still conferred on the county councils powers to act as health authorities in running such services and health centres, day nurseries, home helps and vaccinations. Residential care for the elderly and infirm was a county council responsibility under the National Assistance Act 1948, and similarly children's homes were a county responsibility under the Children's Act 1948. The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 made counties and county boroughs into sole planning authorities having previously only been represented on smaller planning bodies. These new powers placed the county council in a much stronger position when placed under pressure from large urban neighbours like Manchester to allow further over-spill developments in rural Cheshire.


Under the first full-time Clerk of the Council, Geoffrey Scrimgeour, the paid staff of the Council became increasingly highly trained and expert, holding professional qualifications and prepared to move authorities in search of promotion. Numbers of pensionable posts rose from 271 in 1924 to 1,402 when A C Hetherington took over as Clerk in 1959.


The opening of County Hall in Chester in 1957 where all administrative departments were housed under one roof confirmed the move away from government by "social leaders" at Crewe; all committee meetings were then held at Chester where the professional expertise of the paid officers was on hand. The imposing new Town Hall style building reflected the county's increased power and pride. By 1951 the population of the county was greater than either Liverpool or Manchester's and thus it could offer competitive salaries for its chief officers. The new Clerk, Hetherington, introduced the final professional touches to the administrative structure. He initiated regular chief officers' meetings and set up an Organisation and Methods team reporting to officers on management methods, not to the elected representatives. Officers conferred with their committee on important issues of spending and policy, but otherwise were expected to administer the county's affairs expertly and without interference. Councillors in turn specialised in particular aspects of the county's administration, or represented the county on the area management committees and divisional executives set up for particular county services, such as education and welfare.


The 1950s and early 1960s saw further expansion in private housing in the suburban areas of Altrincham, Cheadle and Wirral. The county's rateable value more than doubled between 1955 and 1960, more than half of that value accounted for by these three suburban areas which by an anomaly in the rating system were rated higher than traditional towns such as Nantwich. Government grants were increased to partly fund the costs of council spending on its wide-ranging responsibilities; government grants in this period supplied half of the county's annual expenditure while the county supplied thirty-five per cent from rates and the rest from income. A massive school and public building programme was launched, largely in the new residential areas. In the decade 1950-60 75 schools, 2 colleges, 14 homes for the aged, 10 children's homes, 8 clinics, 5 ambulance and 4 fire stations were built.


The Local Government Act of 1958 established a commission to explore new forms of government for the conurbations (including Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke on Trent) and was quickly seen as a direct threat to Cheshire and its historic boundaries. At worst, the county was to have been parcelled out three ways between its larger neighbours; at best it faced losing large areas which supplied half its rates. The county council mounted a major public relations campaign and won a reprieve, assisted by a moderation of central government policy across the country. A new county boundary was settled on which bore some resemblance to the historic boundary except at the edges where Chester, Warrington and Widnes were added and Wirral and most of the south-Manchester suburbs were taken away.


The background of local government reform in the 1960s spurred the county council to modernise its committee structure and working practices under a reforming new clerk, John (later Sir John) Boynton appointed in 1964. The Simplification Committee met in 1967 and under its proposals the frequency and number of committees (particularly for Education) were reduced and chief officers' independent powers were increased. The periods of tenure of chairmen and vice-chairmen of the council and the committee chairmen were out as younger men were elected and rose to positions of influence sooner. The office of alderman was abolished in 1974. The political effect of the Local Government Act of 1972 which set up the new county was to remove the Conservative party's overall majority, producing a Labour majority initially followed in the 1980s by a series of "hung" councils.


John Boynton also introduced some new common services to the county council and generally attempted to improve co-operation between departments, which although housed in the same building in County Hall often followed their own distinct style of working. Boynton set up personnel, training and information sections within the Clerk's department in 1968 and later appointed a Print Manager, Transport Co-ordinator and Purchasing Officer in 1970. An Intelligence Unit was formed in 1969 to collect and analyse statistical data to assist the county in its use of resources. Computers were introduced in 1958. Boynton particularly valued good publicity in projecting a favourable image of the county council, especially when its existence was under threat (a policy which was pursued again in the 1994-6 reorganisation debate).


National legislation and developments affected other spending departments and forced them to reorganise their activities and methods. The Surveyor's department took in traffic engineering and public transport planning as part of its response to the creation of Road Construction Units and Passenger Transport Authorities in the larger conurbations. The County Library service separated off from the Education department after the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, and the County's powers expanded under the Weights and Measures Act 1963. A Countryside Officer was appointed in 1967 to oversee amenities and country parks. The Fire Service also took on new responsibilities in fire prevention and motorway response. Other departments were threatened with removal to national agencies e.g. the surveyors to roads boards and the health department to area health authorities (a change which did occur in 1972). Nonetheless the growth in common services and expansion of existing specialist departments led to a 33% growth in staff between 1956 and 1971, to over 32,000 people. A proposal to build an extension to County Hall was not pursued following local objections; office space was leased in other parts of Chester, and district offices for Education and Social Services (which took over the Welfare and Childrens departments in 1970) were established across the new county.


The Local Government Act of 1972 also effected changes in the senior management structure of the new county council. A new Chief Executive was to oversee all departments with a small staff and the Clerk's department, now the Secretariat, would be headed by a County Secretary, in effect deputy to the Chief Executive. The first appointment of chief officers for the new county ensured continuity:- Boynton was appointed as Chief Executive, the second deputy clerk John Kellett as County Secretary and most other chief officers continued in their positions or retired to be replaced by their deputies. The Medical Officer of Health post was the only one lost to the county council when most health functions moved to the new health authorities under the NHS.


The 1980s and 1990s saw a period of contraction and fragmentation of county council services. Central government restricted the spending of local authorities by rate-capping (setting a limit to the local rate) and reducing its own contribution as part of public spending curbs. County Councils were forced to implement efficiency measures and occasional restrictions on staff recruitment. Compulsory competitive tendering resulted in the contracting out of some central support services either to outside firms, in-house contractors or arms-length services. These including catering and caretaking, office services, Architects (in 1994) and highways. Old peoples' homes were sold to the private sector under the Registered Homes Act 1984; conversely the Children Act 1989 increased social services' duties e.g. in the registration of childminders while providing for a more co-operative approach to work with parents and families than the interventionist stance of previous years. The Education Reform Act 1988 radically reduced the role of the local education authority for the first time since 1944, giving schools more financial control over their affairs, allowing schools to opt out of LEA control to become Grant Maintained (although few did in Cheshire), and allowing wider parental choice of school. A new National Curriculum was introduced to ensure uniformity across the country, and county advisory staff were drawn into an inspection role as part of Ofsted inspection teams.


Against this background of decreasing resources and shifting responsibilities, Cheshire county council again sought to reassess its management structures to concentrate on service delivery. Following an independent management consultancy report, Robin Wendt (Chief Executive 1979-89) implemented the far-reaching Strategic Management Review in 1988. The fragmented departments which had developed rather haphazardly in response to legislation over the previous fifty years were replaced by a structure of six equal sized groups, each with a director, meeting as a management board under the Chief Executive. The groups were composed of related functions, some established ones such as Education and Social Services, others brought together for the first time such as Information and Leisure Services (encompassing archives, arts, recreation, trading standards and libraries etc.) and Environment combining Planning, Highways and Transport (a lesser role following bus deregulation). The Police, Probation and Fire Services remained outside this group arrangement, reflecting their closer association with central government. In 1995 Police became a separate Authority again with reduced representation by elected county councillors. In 1995 also the Support Services and Finance and Management Services Groups, both internal rather than "frontline" departments, combined to form a new Resources group following the contracting out of several in-house services such as architectural and building services. Legal and Member Services (re-named Secretariat in 1996) resumed a more prominent role reminiscent of the old Clerks' department in the Policy Unit, while Personnel left the Policy Unit to join the Resources Group. Reorganisation again threatened the historic boundaries of Cheshire in the 1990s with the proposed independence of Warrington and Halton as one of several towns across the country considered large enough to function as unitary authorities alongside the major conurbations and counties.

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