Borough of Halton

Coordinates: 53°20′42″N 2°43′19″W / 53.345°N 2.722°W / 53.345; -2.722

Halton (pronounced HOL-tən) is a unitary authority district with borough status in Cheshire, North West England. It was created in 1974 as a district of the non-metropolitan county of Cheshire, and became a unitary authority area on 1 April 1998 under Halton Borough Council.[3] Since 2014 it has been a member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The borough consists of the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and the civil parishes of Daresbury, Hale, Halebank, Moore, Preston Brook, and Sandymoor.[4] The district borders Merseyside, Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge at dusk
Latin: Industria Navem Implet
(Industry fills the ship)
Halton shown within Cheshire
Halton shown within Cheshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionNorth West England
City regionLiverpool
Ceremonial county Cheshire
Settled10th century
Incorporated1974 (borough)
 1998 (Unitary authority)
Town HallRuncorn
Administrative HQWidnes
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyHalton Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLabour
 • LeaderMike Wharton
 • MayorChristopher Rowe
 • Chief ExecutiveDavid Parr
 • Borough30.53 sq mi (79.08 km2)
Area rank237th
 (mid-2019 est.)[2]
 • Borough129,410
 • Rank178th
 • Density4,210/sq mi (1,624/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode area
Dialling code0151 Widnes and Hale Village, 01928 Runcorn, 01925 Daresbury
ISO 3166 codeGB-HAL
GSS codeE06000006
NUTS 3 codeUKD71
ONS code00ET
Major railway stationsRuncorn (C1)
MPsDerek Twigg (L)
Mike Amesbury (L)
Police areaCheshire
Fire serviceCheshire
Ambulance serviceNorth West
Halton from the air showing the two road bridges


Although Halton dates back to the 12th century (and beyond) when land on both sides of the river belonged to the Barony of Halton, the origin of the District Council was the outcome of the local government commission's suggested reforms of England, in 1969, the Redcliffe-Maud Report. This proposed to create metropolitan counties constituted of metropolitan district councils in the most urbanised parts of England. The model was that of the London Boroughs and Greater London Council formed in 1965. Southern Lancashire and northern Cheshire were among these urban areas, and two new metropolitan Counties were to be formed around Liverpool (as Merseyside) and Manchester (as Greater Manchester). However, the towns of Widnes and Runcorn (and the County Borough of Warrington) which lay between these were reluctant to join either.[citation needed] The Commission agreed that Halton and Warrington would become districts within Cheshire, as they would be detached from Lancashire by the two new metropolitan counties controlling the territory to the north.

The district was formally established on 1 April 1974 from Runcorn urban district and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and the borough of Widnes and the parish of Hale from the Whiston Rural District in Lancashire. On 1 April 1998 Halton became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy.

On 1 April 2014 Halton became part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, joining the local authorities of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, the five metropolitan district councils which constitute the county of Merseyside. This effectively reverses the position adopted in the 1970s which created it as an anomaly. As a unitary authority its status is similar to the metropolitan district councils.[5]


Population growthEdit

The population of Halton is 129,410 (mid-2019 est.).[2] The change in population during the 20th century is shown in the following table.

Population growth in the Borough of Halton since 1901[6]
Year Population Change as %
1901 57,755
1911 57,062 -1.2%
1921 61,039 +7.0%
1931 65,309 +7.0%
1941 71,835 +10.0%
1951 79,026 +10.0%
1961 87,168 +10.3%
1971 96,150 +10.3%
1981 121,861 +26.7%
1991 124,915 +2.5%
2001 118,215 -5.4%
2011 125,700 +6.3%


In the 2011 census, Christianity was the main religion in Halton at 75%, well above the national average for England of 59.4%. 18.7% stated that they had "no religion". Those stating their religions as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islam or Sikh amounted to 0.8%.[7]


In the 2011 census, 97.8% of Halton residents identified as White and 2% were Non-White. From the 2011 School Census, the main first language apart from English was Polish.[7]


Halton Borough Council is a unitary authority responsible for most local government functions within the area. The Labour Party has controlled the council since it was created in 1974.[8]

On 1 April 2014, Halton became one of the six constituent local government districts of the Liverpool City Region under the Combined Authority.[9]

Most of the borough is represented in the House of Commons by the member for Halton but Runcorn New Town is in the Weaver Vale constituency.


Chemical works at Weston Point

Halton is an industrial and logistics hub with a higher proportion of people working in manufacturing (particularly chemicals and advanced manufacturing), wholesale and retail, and transport and storage compared to the average for England.[7]

Employees by industry in 2019[10]
Industry Halton (Employee Jobs) Halton (%) North West (%) Great Britain (%) Halton - Great Britain Difference
H Transportation And Storage 7,000 10.8 5.6 4.9 5.9
C Manufacturing 8,000 12.3 9.3 8.0 4.3
G Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles 11,000 16.9 16.3 15.0 1.9
N Administrative And Support Service Activities 7,000 10.8 8.6 8.9 1.9
Q Human Health And Social Work Activities 9,000 13.8 14.2 13.1 0.7
E Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management And Remediation Activities 800 1.2 0.7 0.7 0.5
M Professional, Scientific And Technical Activities 6,000 9.2 8.8 8.8 0.4
S Other Service Activities 1,500 2.3 1.9 2.0 0.3
B Mining And Quarrying 300 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.3
F Construction 3,000 4.6 4.6 4.9 -0.3
D Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply 75 0.1 0.5 0.4 -0.3
L Real Estate Activities 600 0.9 1.5 1.7 -0.8
R Arts, Entertainment And Recreation 1,000 1.5 2.6 2.5 -1.0
O Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security 2,000 3.1 4.6 4.4 -1.3
J Information And Communication 1,500 2.3 2.8 4.3 -2.0
K Financial And Insurance Activities 600 0.9 2.8 3.5 -2.6
I Accommodation And Food Service Activities 3,000 4.6 6.9 7.7 -3.1
P Education 3,500 5.4 8.0 8.7 -3.3

The wages of employees in Halton are slightly higher than the average for England and significantly higher than the average for the North West and the Liverpool City Region.[11] Business survival rates are also significantly higher than both the regional and national averages.[11] In 2018, the GVA per head of population in Halton was £26,988 compared to a regional average of £22,244 in North West England.[12]

Twin boroughsEdit

Halton is twinned with:

Following an appeal in 1997, Halton residents donated 1,000 English books to Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.[13] In 1999, an historic Halton Transport bus was restored and gifted to the Czech Republic to mark the centenary of public transport in the city.[14] Engineers from Halton have assisted with chemical decontamination in the city and also when the city flooded in 2002.[15]

The first crazy golf course in Berlin, created in Marzahn-Hellersdorf in 2005, contains several Halton landmarks and was constructed with the assistance of exchange students from the borough.[16]

Several roads are named after Halton's twin boroughs, including Leiria Way in Runcorn and Marzahn Way in Widnes.[17] A Chinese friendship garden was created in the grounds of Runcorn Town Hall in 2006, including a bronze statue gifted by the twin city of Tongling.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Unitary Authority". Halton Borough Council. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Parish Councils". Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  5. ^ Clay, Oliver, Halton to become part of Liverpool city region, Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News, archived from the original on 27 July 2011, retrieved 15 January 2009
  6. ^ "Halton UA through time - Population Statistics". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "2011 Census Halton key statistics profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Halton". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Proposal to establish a combined authority for Greater Merseyside" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Labour Market Profile - Halton". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Halton Borough Profile" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Economic Assessment and Halton 2030" (PDF). Halton Borough Council. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Thanks to Halton". Warrington Guardian. Newsquest Media Group Ltd. 8 April 1997. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Halton - Ústí nad Labem City Hall". Ústí nad Labem City Council. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Forgiving but not forgetting Czechs' war". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Golf course putts Halton on the map". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Going Deutsche". Warrington Guardian. Newsquest Media Group Ltd. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Friendship garden is full of Eastern promise". Cheshire Live. Reach plc. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2020.