Melbourn Rural District Council and successors

County Councils had been created in 1889 and the Local Government Act 1894 completed a three-tier form of local government, with County Councils at the top, Parish Councils at the bottom and Rural District Councils in between.

Melbourn Rural District Council covered an area which largely coincided with the existing Royston Rural Sanitary Board and Royston Poor Law Union. The link between the new rural district and the poor law union continued, with all the elected councillors of the rural district council being ex officio members of the Royston Board of Guardians. The first meeting of the Melbourn Rural District Council was held on 2 January 1895 at the board room of the Royston Union Workhouse. Despite its Melbourn name the new rural district council was head-quartered in Royston.

In 1934 Melbourn RDC merged with Linton RDC and part of Caxton & Arrington RDC and the combined councils became South Cambridgeshire RDC.

In 1974 South Cambridgeshire RDC merged with Chesterton RDC to form South Cambridgeshire District Council (no “rural”!)

Steeple Morden came under Melbourn RDC and the successor councils named above.

Key responsibilities of the RDCs were housing, water and sanitation. From 1948 with the passing of the Town & Country Planning Act the previous year, planning control became another aspect of the RDCs’ mandate.

Last Updated on February 26, 2022