Eastleigh (borough)

Eastleigh (borough)

The Borough of Eastleigh is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England, bordering the unitary authority of Southampton, Test Valley, the City of Winchester and the borough of Fareham. Eastleigh is separated from the New Forest by Southampton Water. The borough's latin motto, "Salus popuu suprema lex" translates as "The Welfare of the People is the most important Law".

The original Eastleigh borough was formed in 1936 following the incorporation of the former Eastleigh Urban District Council. The borough as it is today was formed in 1974, when the existing Borough of Eastleigh expanded to include part of the former Winchester Rural District as a result of the Local Government Act 1972. The name of the borough was chosen by the children's author, Charlotte Mary Yonge.

There are eight parishes within the borough, but some areas are unparished and controlled directly by the borough council. The council's headquarters is in the town of Eastleigh itself. The borough is also served by seven county councillors and two members of Parliament. There are 44 seats on the borough council.

Water bounds much of the borough, with Southampton Water and the River Hamble bordering the east and southwest of the district. The built up nature of neighbouring Southampton and the urban area around Eastleigh contrast with the rural nature of much of the borough, which lies within the Hampshire Basin.

Eastleigh is considerably more densely populated than South East England, and even England as a whole, with a population of 116,169 in the 2001 census. However, that population is in better general health than the South East region and the country.

There are eight scheduled ancient monuments and around 180 listed buildings in the borough, with Netley Abbey, Bursledon Windmill, the chapel of Netley Hospital, and Netley Castle among them. The borough also contains eight conservation areas and around 20,000 trees protected by tree preservation orders.

The borough is served by two motorways and seven railway stations as well as containing an international airport. There is also a ferry linking Hamble-le-Rice in Eastleigh to Warsash in Fareham, and a disused canal running through the north of the borough.


The borough's origins begin with the formation of a parish covering the villages of Eastley and Barton in 1868. Author Charlotte Yonge, a resident of Otterbourne, donated £500 towards the cost of the parish church building and in return was asked which of the two villages to name the parish after; she chose Eastley, but also chose to alter the spelling to Eastleigh as she considered this more modern. The parish grew rapidly: it had a population of 515 in 1871, over 1,000 in 1881 and 3,613 in 1891.

In order to facilitate the creation of pavements with kerbs, drains and sewers, and street lights, a local board was established in 1893. Two years later, the local board was replaced by Eastleigh Urban District Council, which was merged with the neighbouring community of Bishopstoke in 1899, retaining the Eastleigh name.

The first Eastleigh Borough was incorporated in 1936 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1882. This conversion from Eastleigh Urban District Council to Eastleigh Borough Council allowed the authority to create bylaws. Notice of the petition for incorporation was served on the 1st February 1936, and the matter being raised for consideration on 16th March, along with petitions for the creation of boroughs for Crosby and Sale in North West England, among others.

The Local Government Act 1972 resulted in this borough of Eastleigh merging with seven parishes from the the Winchester Rural District to become the borough as it is today, with effect from 1st April 1974.

In 2006, the borough was ranked the ninth best place to live in the UK by a Channel 4 programme.


Most of the borough has a three-tier local government system, consisting of a local parish council (there are eight parishes in the borough), Eastleigh Borough Council itself, and Hampshire County Council. However, some areas, including the town of Eastleigh itself, do not have a parish council and are goverened directly by the borough council. There are 44 seats on the borough council across 19 wards. At present, 38 of these 44 seats are held by Liberal Democrat councillors, with four Conservative and two Labour councillors. The council has a strong tradition of attending to environmental matters and in 2008 was named a beacon council under the theme "Tackling Climate Change".

Eastleigh is represented on Hampshire County Council by seven councillors (currently six Liberal Democrats and one Conservative), and in Parliament by two MPs. At present these are both Liberal Democrats: Chris Huhne for the Eastligh constituency and Sandra Gidley for the Romsey constituency.

The various wards and parishes are grouped into five subdivisions of Eastleigh, each with a local area committee of borough councillors. These five subdivisions are as follows:

Local area committee Wards Parishes / towns Number of councillors
Chandler's Ford and Hiltingbury Chandler's Ford East
Chandler's Ford West
Hiltingbury East
Hiltingbury West
Unparished 8
Eastleigh Eastleigh Central
Eastleigh North
Eastleigh South
Unparished 9
Hedge End, West End and Botley Botley
Hedge End Grange Park
Hedge End St Johns
Hedge End Wildern
West End North
West End South
Botley (parish)
Hedge End (town)
West End (parish)
Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Bishopstoke East
Bishopstoke West
Fair Oak and Horton Heath
Bishopstoke (parish)
Fair Oak and Horton Heath (parish)
Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Bursledon & Old Netley
Hamble-le-Rice & Butlocks Heath
Netley Abbey
Bursledon (parish)
Hamble-le-Rice (parish)
Hound (parish)


The southern part of the borough is bounded on the east by the River Hamble (separating it from Fareham) and on the west by Southampton Water (separating it from the New Forest). The Hamble flows into Southampton Water at Hamble-le-Rice, thus accounting for the borough's southern boundary. Further north, the borough borders Southampton to the west and the City of Winchester district to the north. As well as Southampton Water and the River Hamble, a number of watercourses flow through Eastleigh, including the River Itchen, Monks Brook and the Itchen Navigation.

The largest settlement in the borough is the town of Eastleigh itself, with a continuous urban area which now includes Chandler's Ford, Bishopstoke and Boyatt Wood. The only other settlement in the borough with town status is Hedge End. Due to the urban nature of Southampton and the town of Eastleigh, the western side of the borough is generally more built up than the east.

The borough is within the Hampshire Basin, with a geology of mainly Cretaceous chalk.


In the 2001 census, Eastleigh had a population of 116,169, consisting of 57,000 males and 59,169 females. The borough is much more densely populated than South East England or even England as a whole, with a population density of 14.56 people per hectare (South East England and England have 4.20 and 3.77 respectively). Over 76 per cent of Eastleigh's population state their religion as Christian, which is slightly higher than the South East region and the rest of the country. The census also indicates that the residents of Eastleigh are generally in better health than those in the wider region and country.


The economy of the borough today is dominated by the retail sector, which accounts for around 33 per cent of the jobs in the borough, and this proportion is rising. As well as the large Swan Centre, a shopping centre in the town of Eastleigh, there is a large out-of-town retail development near Hedge End which includes flagship stores for Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's among others. Eastleigh also has proportionately more manufacturing and construction jobs than the nation, but the number of jobs in these sectors is declining in the borough.

Historically, the economy of the area has strong links with the transport industry. The proximity of substantial waterways made shipbuilding a major industry in the south of the borough, and today the pleasure boat industry still dominates the area around Hamble-le-Rice and Bursledon, made famous by the television drama series on the subject, Howards' Way, which was filmed in the area. The borough is also strongly linked with the Spitfire, the first test flights of which took place from Southampton Airport in Eastleigh.


There are eight scheduled ancient monuments in Eastleigh,, around 180 listed buildings (nine of which are Grade II* listed, the remainder Grade II) and 500 tree preservation orders covering 20,000 trees across 5,000 properties. The council also maintains a "local list" of buildings which are of local importance but do not meet English Heritage's listing criteria.

The area around Netley is particularly rich in notable historic landmarks, with Netley Abbey, Netley Castle and Netley Hospital all nearby. The borough also boasts Hampshire's only functioning windmill, Bursledon Windmill, and eight conservation areas.


The M3 motorway runs through the north-west of the borough, providing a direct road route to London, and the midlands and north of England via the A34 road which joins the M3 just north of Winchester. The M27 motorway also runs through much of the borough, linking Eastleigh to the rest of the south coast.

There are seven railway stations in the borough, served by the South Western Main Line, the Eastleigh to Romsey Line, the Eastleigh to Fareham Line, the West Coastway Line and the Cross Country Route. Passenger train operators serving the Eastleigh stations include South West Trains, CrossCountry and Southern.

Southampton International Airport is located in the north west of the borough, just south of the town of Eastleigh itself. The airport is the 20th largest in the United Kingdom and flights operate from there to destinations throughout the British Isles (including the Channel Islands) and some destinations in western continental Europe.

Local bus services in Eastleigh are primarily operated by Solent Blue Line, with other operators including First Hampshire & Dorset and Stagecoach Group. National coach services such as the National Express Group tend not to serve Eastleigh due to the close proximity of Southampton and Winchester to the borough.

The disused Itchen Navigation runs through the north of the borough, and in the south, Hamble is served by the Hamble-Warsash Ferry.


The local education authority for Eastleigh is Hampshire County Council, which lists 40 schools in the borough. In addition, there are two further education colleges in the town of Eastleigh, and a number of private schools such as the Gregg School in Chartwell Green and King's School in Fair Oak.

International relationships

The Borough of Eastleigh is twinned with:

and has one Sister City:

In 1983, to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of twinning with Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, Eastleigh was awarded the European Flag of Honour by the Council of Europe. The Flag recognises the Borough's efforts in promoting European relationships, and was officially presented to the Council by a representative of the Commission at a special ceremony in the Town Hall Centre on the 18th June 1983.


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