RepositoryCheshire Record Office
LevelCollection (Fonds)
TitleCheshire County Council
Date19th to 21st century
DescriptionThis collection originally included all departments within the county council. CCC now only contains records of decision-making, including council minutes and reports, the clerk’s department and various sub-departments, and records of the Chief Executive.

For other departments see: Architects (CA); Education (policy-making and administrative, CE; pre- and post-1974 school districts CED and CEF); Environmental Services (CEN); Fire Brigade (CF); Highways (CH); Constabulary (CJP); Libraries and Museums (CL); Management Services (CM); Countryside and Recreation (COR); Planning (CPL); Public Relations (CPR); Probation Service (CPS); Public Health, Welfare and Social Services (CS); Treasurer (CT); Weights and Measures (CW); and Publications (CX).

County Council: Minutes and reports (including minutes of committees to 1967) 1888-1988, yearbooks 1890-1970, standing orders, manuals and constitution 1909-2004, official record and other registers of members 1930-84, registers of sealed and signed documents 1889-2005, Chairman's triennial addresses 1898-1967, annual reports 1981-1986 (CCC 1-6)

Committees: These comprise minutes and papers unless otherwise stated.

Agriculture, land and buildings: War Agricultural and War Agricultural Executive Committee 1915-20, Diseases of Animals Acts Committee 1947-67, Drainage Committee 1948-64, Smallholdings Committee 1964-73, Estates and Works, later Buildings and Estates, later Land and Buildings Committee 1951-88, Agriculture Committee, later Sub-Committee 1967-88 (CCC 1)

Education: Technical Instruction Committee 1889-90, Education Committee 1903-87 (CCC 1); Joint Committee 1952-67, District Advisory Committees 1976-1980 (CCCJ); files re schools transferred under Education Act 1902, 1903-1908, schemes of management 1886-1987 (CCE); annual reports of Chief School Medical Officer 1909-61 (CCC 2)

Finance, Policy and Resources: Finance, later Policy and Resources Committee 1954-87, Staffing and Salaries Committee 1954-74, Valuation Committee 1934-50 (CCC 1); correspondence files and accounts 1899-1949 (CCV); Industrial Development, later Industrial and Employment Committee 1976-88, Superannuation Investment Panel 1975-84 (CCC 1)

Health and Social Services: Public Assistance Committee 1929-48, Health Committee 1953-74 (CCC 1); annual reports of Medical Officer of Health 1892-1972 (CCC 2); Welfare Committee, including Area Management Committees 1948-1971, Children's Committee 1949-71 (CCC 1); annual reports of County Children's Officer 1947-1962 (CCC 2); Social Services Committee, including District Advisory Committees 1971-88 (CCC 1); Joint Casual Relief Committee with accounts 1930-48, joint consultative and liaison committees 1974-86 (CCQ; annual reports of Visiting Committees of Upton and Parkside Lunatic Asylums 1855-1948 (CCC 2)

Libraries, Arts and Countryside: Library, later Library and Arts Committee 1965-81 (CCC 1); Area Library Committees 1964-74 (CCC1); Countryside, later Countryside and Recreation Committee 1967-81 (CCC 1); Tatton Park Management Committee files 1954-82 (CCG); Libraries and Countryside Committee 1981-7 (CCC 1)

Parliamentary and Organisation: Parliamentary Committee 1934-66 (CCC 1), and correspondence files 1946-73 (CCP); General Purposes Committee 1955-76, Selection Committee 1967-74, Parliamentary and General Purposes, later Parliamentary and Organisation Committee 1967-88 (CCC 1); County of Cheshire Joint, later Joint Liaison Committee 1972-87 (CCC.1); Local Taxation, later Local Taxation and Road Fund Licences Committee registers of motor vehicles 1903-74, and correspondence files 1945-61 (CCL); byelaws, Shops Act and Local Government Orders and Parliamentary Bills and related correspondence files and plans, including brine pumping, Weaver Navigation etc 1737-1987 (CCLe, CCP); counsels'opinions 1736-1983 (CCLe)

Planning and Transportation: Roads and Bridges Committee, including Area Advisory Committees, 1930-74 (CCC 1); Restriction of Ribbon Development scaled maps and schedules 1936-8, public rights of way dedications, diversions, stopping-up orders and definitive maps 1933-87, traffic regulation and speed limit orders 1930-87, compulsory purchase orders for road improvements 1935-8 1, road maintenance contracts 1833-1968, Mid-Cheshire Road Safety Committee papers 1962-70 (CCH); Town and Country Planning, later County Planning Committee 1943-74, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee 1973-88 (CCC 1); Joint Planning Committee and Steering Committees 1943-81 (CCC1); lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest 1947-88, registers of planning orders 1948-81, tree preservation orders 1949-80, agreements for delegation of planning functions 1948-82, County development plans 1946-64, Joint Town Planning Committees agreements 1931-7 (CCP1)

Emergency Services and Public Protection: Air Raid Precautions Committee 1940-9 (CCC 1); correspondence files 1939-45, registers of premises hired for ARP purposes 1939-48, publications 1936-40 (CCD); Civil Defence Committee 1950-68 (CCC 1); correspondence files 1949-69, publications 1958-76 (CCD); Fire Brigade and Public Control, later Fire Brigade and Public Protection Committee 1973-88 (CCC 1); annual reports of Chief Fire Officer 1949-73 (CCC 2); correspondence files 1940-78 (CCF)

Police: Standing Joint Committee 1889-1965, Police Authority 1948-74, Police Committee 1973-88 (CCCJ); registers of signed and sealed documents 1949-74, reports of Chief Constable 1962-81 (CCC 5)

Joint Committees and Boards: These comprise minutes and papers unless otherwise stated. River Gowy Drainage Board 1910-38, War Relief Committee 1914-21 (CCJ); Mersey and Irwell Watershed Committee 1914-39, Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Joint Committee 1927-68 (CCCJ); Cheshire Joint Board for the Mentally Defective 1928-48 (CCJ); River Weaver Catchment Board 1931-5, Cheshire Rivers Catchment Board 1935-51, North East Cheshire Rivers Catchment Board 1935-1951, Lancashire Rivers Board 1939-48, Rivers Birket and Fender Catchment Board 1948-5 , Cheshire River Board 1951-61, Dee Estuary Joint Consultative Committee 1967-72 (CCCJ)

Departments: Clerk (later County Secretary): minutes and papers of County Probation, later Probation and After-Care Committee 1952-87 (CCCL, CCC 2); Magistrates Courts Committee 1952-69 (CCCL); Cheshire Advisory Committee (appointment of JPs) 1911-76 (CCLi) (access restricted); Chief Officers Board 1959-87 (CCCA); registers of county properties c. 1830-1974, Record Office registers and files c. 1900-81 (CCAr); correspondence and papers of the Clerk to the Lieutenancy 1933-76 (CCLi); papers relating to public enquiries 1895-1977 (CCQ); registers of electors 1889-1988, registers of charities c. 1916-80, registers of common land and village greens c. 1965-88 (CCRg) Architect: Plans of county buildings c. 1884-1970, publications 1970s (CA) Countryside: Photographs of Community Programme schemes c. 1983-8 (COR) Economic Development Department publications 1989-1998 (CENX 2); Education: Minutes and papers of Divisional Executives, including records inherited from superseded School Boards and Borough Education Committees c.1871-1974, registers of teachers' salaries 1904-47 and of school managers and correspondents 1913-43, building programme files 1950-64, agricultural education reports and papers 1905-60, publications including brochures for official openings of schools 1928-88 (CE) Fire Brigade: National Fire Service instructions, manuals and orders 1937-48, County Fire Brigade logbooks and reports 1948-63, correspondence files 1949-74, orders and training notes 1968-77, publications 1947-78 (CF) Health: County Medical Officer correspondence files 1918-72, vaccination contracts 1901-47, reports 1904- 70, publications 1897-1971 (CHe) Highways: Plans of main roads c. 1888-94, abstract of main roads accounts 1878-93, registers of contracts 1924-67, and of road improvements 1936-57, photographs of road improvements 1930s, reports and publications c. 1962-81, register of office staff 1921-1935 (CH); Libraries and Museums: Cons c. 1933-80 (CL) Management Services: Organisation and methods reports 1959-81, work study reports 1969-75, miscellaneous reports 1969-76 (CM) Personnel: training videos c1990-93 (CPT) Planning: Development plans, reports and maps 1946-84, registers of planning applications 1948-74, reports and publications c. 1960-86 (CP) Police: Orders and instructions 1857-1988, letter books 1879-1920, memoranda and reports 1881-1966, operational files 1970-3, registers of policemen 1847-1965, register of offenders 1875-1909, calendars of prisoners 1862-1971, photograph album 1937-85, registers and records of local borough and divisional police forces 1836-1966 (CJP) Probation: Chester Police Court Mission minutes 1894-1915, annual reports 1957-70 (CPS) Social Services: Public Assistance Officer reports and papers 1929-41, Welfare Department reports and publications 1948-70, correspondence files 1948-68, case files (access restricted) 1930-1961, registers of children boarded out, of inmates in children's homes, remand homes and approved schools, of foster homes and adoptions 1930-2003, registers of inmates of Public Assistance Institutions and elderly persons homes c. 1930-62, correspondence files 1974-80, publications 1972-79 (CS) Trading Standards: Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures correspondence 1900-42, statutory registers of manufacturers, dealers etc under various Acts, 1888-1980, reports of Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures, of County Analyst and of Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Officer 1907-74, Divisional registers of standards, samples and prosecutions 1890-1973 (CW) Treasury: General ledgers 1885-1952, day books 1889-1931, rentals 1906-52, ledgers and accounts relating to Education, Agricultural Education, Small Holdings and Allotments, Highways and Bridges, Public Assistance, Public Health, Welfare and Standing Joint Committees 1903-50, Research and Intelligence Unit surveys (access restricted) 1971-80, County Treasurer's correspondence and policy files 1934-75, County Accountant's letter book and papers 1860-1919, Constabulary, County Council and Bucklow Joint Superannuation funds minutes, ledgers and accounts 1880-1974, publications 1890-1982 (CT) Valuation and Estates: Smallholdings plans c. 1920-34, land valuation returns of county properties c. 1910, publications 1908-66 (CV) Hoole General Improvement Area correspondence and plans 1973-1991 (Acc 9193). Walking Strategy consultation and launch 2000-2002 (9193)
LocationHeld offsite - consult staff
Access ConditionsAccess to records containing personal information is subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Administrative HistoryCounty Councils were established by the Local Government Act, 1888, to carry out much of the administrative work formerly undertaken by the courts of quarter sessions. the first elections were held on 29 January 1889, and the first meeting of the Provisional Council was held on 7 February. The first statutory meeting of the County Council was held, in Macclesfield Town Hall, on 1 April 1889. Subsequent legislation, notably the Education Act, 1902, and the Local Government Act, 1929, added new duties and powers. Until the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the county council administered the whole of the old geographical county with the exception of the county boroughs of Birkenhead, Chester, Stockport and Wallasey (from 1913). Boundary changes in 1974 saw the transfer of Wirral to Merseyside and eastern parts of the county to Greater Manchester and Derbyshire, and the addition of Warrington and district. Pre-1974 record series have not been split to reflect the new boundaries. Over the past 100 years the council has exercised its functions through committees and boards which have been subject to frequent changes of name and powers. For greater convenience and clarity they have been arranged in groups, each relating to one of the council's principal areas of responsibility: agriculture, land and buildings; education; finance, policy and resources; health and social services; libraries, arts and countryside; parliamentary and organisation; planning and transportation; emergency services, public protection and police. Aspects of the work of the county council are considered in more detail in J M Lee Social Leaders and Public Persons (Oxford 1963) and in J M Lee and others The Scope of Local Initiative (London 1974).

County Farms records originate with the Smallholdings Act of 1907 as County Councils were required to work with Small holdings Commissioners to provide for the purchase of lands for conversion into small holdings and allotments. A statutory Small Holdings and Allotments Committee was established, with 10 Area sub-committees and a land agent was appointed. By 1910 1,341 acres had been purchased and divided into 24 small holdings of 14-50 acres, each provided with a house and farm buildings and 5 market garden plots of 7 acres. By 1919 the acreage had risen to 4,740 acres and this was doubled within 3 years, after the passage of the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act 1919 empowered County Councils to acquire land by compulsory purchase, in order to fulfil the promise made by the Government that all ex-servicemen who desired small holdings should be provided with them.

The Smallholdings and Allotments act of 1926 allowed for the provision of "cottage" holdings, of three acres with a cottage and the Housing (Rural Workers) Act also of 1926 allowed the council to make grants towards cottage improvements. By 1939 the Council owned 12,643 acres of land converted into 467 smallholdings. 332 had houses and farm buildings, 29 had cottages and the remaining 106 were let as land.

County Farms were managed through an Estates department and since Local Government Reorganisation in 2009 the County Farms Service has operated as a shared service.
Related MaterialSee DDX 420 for notes and collections of J M Lee for his 1963 history 'Social Leaders and Public Persons. A study of County Government in Cheshire since 1888'.
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