In Whitworth, local government services are provided by three local authorities - Whitworth Town Council, Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. Whitworth Town Council consists of 12 elected members (Councillors), who are served by a Town Clerk. The Mission Statement of Whitworth Town Council is 'To improve the quality of life for the community of Whitworth'. The Town Council offices and Council Chamber are located in the Civic Hall complex in Whitworth.
In 2006, Whitworth Town Council became the 347th Town or Parish Council in the UK to achieve Quality Status, and was re-accredited in 2011.
The status gives confidence to partner Councils and other organisations that the Town Council can deliver excellent services and value for money to the town's residents.
Employs a part-time Parish Lengthsman and full time Town Caretaker who, between them, keep the town as clean and tidy as possible;
Acts as a pressure group upholding the rights and values of the Township;
Acts as a sounding board for local opinion;
Acts as a centre for retaining and enforcing the Town's historical, cultural and social identity;
Inspects and comments on all planning applications and is consulted on new bye laws;
Actively encourages voluntary initiatives and works hard to encourage tourism and economic regeneration;
Nominates school governors and appoints trustees to local charities and representatives on such bodies as the Whitworth Sports Council, Police meetings and the Healey Dell Joint Management Committee.
Produces the Whitworth Valley News magazine;
Facilitates this website!
Whitworth Town Council obtains the money it needs to carry out the services it provides by levying a precept on the Council Tax collected by Rossendale Borough Council (as detailed on your Council Tax bill). The Town Council's Annual Report is available to download and view on this website.
Whitworth Town Council’s officer (Town Clerk) is Melanie Hearn. Melanie has been in post since 2015 and is your first point of call for anything related to Whitworth Town Council. Born and brought up in Rossendale, Melanie has lived in Whitworth with her husband and young family since 2007. Melanie's background is in retail management and she has also spent time running an art and design business locally.
Whitworth's Town Caretaker is Glen Iliff. Glen lives in Whitworth and works as Caretaker full-time; he has been in post since 2007. His main duties are to remove litter from all public areas around the village, and to report any problems back to the Clerk.
Whitworth's Parish Lengthsman is Derrick Jones. Derrick has been Lengthsman since 2021. He works 7.5 hours a week for the Council, and his role is to carry out basic maintenance around the town.
Whitworth Town Council was formed in 1974 following the reorganisation of local government in England. Prior to this date, Whitworth Urban District Council was the administrative body in the Valley, but was abolished following the reorganisation.
The history of local government in Whitworth began 100 years before this, in 1874. The latter end of this particular century saw a great deal of local development. As a result, a Local Board was set up in 1874 to administer Whitworth. Further independence arrived towards the end of the century with the creation of the Parish of Whitworth, one of 19 new parishes carved out of the original vast Rochdale Parish. Complete independence came in June 1894, when an urban district council replaced the Local Board. The first meeting was held on 3 January 1895 and the first chairman (appropriately enough) was a Mr William Ernest Whitworth. Whitworth had thus, at last, become ecclesiastically and administratively free of its neighbour. The wheel turned full circle in 1974 when the Urban District Council was abolished and Whitworth was absorbed into the newly created Rossendale Borough Council.
The Urban District Council did much to shake off the legacy of the 19th century, and Whitworth became as progressive a place, for its size, as any in Lancashire. For example, in four days, 325 officials travelled to Whitworth, then one of Lancashire's smallest local authorities, to inspect the unique housing development at Leavengreave.