Stratford-on-Avon District Council is 50!

Press Release

Published on 15 May 2024

On Wednesday 15 May, Stratford-on-Avon District Council held its 50th Annual Council Meeting - marking a major milestone for the District Council, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Stratford-on-Avon District Council was created by combining five former districts, which were abolished at the same time:

  • Alcester Rural District
  • Shipston-on-Stour Rural District was a rural districtin England from 1894 to 1974
  • Southam Rural District was created in 1894 and consisted of 26 parishes, a further six parishes were added in 1932, when the Farnborough Rural District was disbanded. It was named after and administered from Southam.
  • Stratford-on-Avon Rural District(except parish of Hockley Heath, which went to Solihull)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Municipal Borough - a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1836 and 1974

The new district was named Stratford-on-Avon after its main town, but using the 'Stratford-on-Avon' variant of the name, which had also been used for the rural district which had covered the parishes surrounding the town

The first election to the Council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing Councils before coming into its powers on 1 April 1974.

Since 1974 political control of the District Council has been as follows:

  • Independent 1974 - 1976
  • No overall control 1976 - 1979
  • Conservative 1979 - 1991
  • No overall control 1991 - 1992
  • Conservative 1992 - 1994
  • No overall control 1994 - 2000 (Lib Dem ruling group)
  • Conservative 2000 - 2002
  • No overall control 2002 - 2003 (Conservative ruling group)
  • Conservative 2003 - 2023
  • Liberal Democrats 2023 - present

At the beginning, the District Council offices were located in a number of different areas of the town. The main office was Regal House on Birmingham Road where the Chief Executive, District Secretary and Solicitor, Chief Technical Officer and Chief Personnel Officer had their departments. The Treasurer's Department were based in Rother Street in the Civic Hall building (now the Stratford Arthouse). The Planning and Housing Departments were both based in Tyler Street with the Environmental Health Department on Guild Street. There were also Sub-Offices in Alcester, Shipston-on-Stour and Southam.

The District Council is now based at Elizabeth House on Church Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

The oldest part of the building was a house at 15 Church Street, built in 1911 as 'Maugersbury House'. The house was bought in 1920 by NFU Mutual and converted to be their offices.

It was later extended in a similar style along Church Street in 1927 and 1957. The NFU left the building in 1982, after which it was bought by the District Council and converted to become its offices, replacing the five sets of offices inherited from the Council's predecessor authorities. 

The building was formally re-opened as the District Council's headquarters on 19 April 1985 by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, when it was named 'Elizabeth House' in recognition of her visit.

David Buckland, Chief Executive of Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: "We share this milestone with many other councils established after the Local Government Act of 1972 came into force in April 1974. I am delighted the District Council has been proudly serving residents in the District for 50 years. It is a real milestone in the history of the District and for the Council."

Pink modern breast cancer awareness infographic

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

Back to Current Press Releases

Contact: The Communications team

Last updated on 15/05/2024