City of Canterbury

For the settlement within the City of Canterbury, see Canterbury. For the local government area in Australia, see City of Canterbury (New South Wales).
City of Canterbury
Non-metropolitan district, Borough, City

Canterbury shown within Kent
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South East England
Non-metropolitan county Kent
Status Non-metropolitan district, Borough, City
Admin HQ Canterbury
Incorporated 1 April 1974
  Type Non-metropolitan district council
  Body Canterbury City Council
  Leadership Committee system, Simon Cook (Conservative)
  MPs Julian Brazier
Roger Gale
  Total 119.24 sq mi (308.84 km2)
Area rank 137th (of 326)
Population (mid-2014 est.)
  Total 157,649
  Rank 119th (of 326)
  Density 1,300/sq mi (510/km2)
  Ethnicity 93.4% White
2.2% S.Asian
1.6% Chinese and other
1.4% Mixed Race
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
  Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
ONS code 29UC (ONS)
E07000106 (GSS)
OS grid reference TR145575

The City of Canterbury (RP: /ˈkæntəbərɪ/ or /ˈkæntəbrɪ/[1]) is a local government district with city status in Kent, England. The main settlement in the district is Canterbury.


The district was formed on April 1, 1974 by the merger of the existing city of Canterbury with the Whitstable and Herne Bay Urban Districts, and Bridge-Blean Rural District. The latter district entirely surrounded the city; the urban districts occupied the coastal area to the north.


Elections to the city council are held every four years, all of the 50 seats on the council being elected. After being under no overall control for a number of years, the Conservative party gained a majority at the 2007 election and increased it in the 2011 election.

Following the United Kingdom local elections, 2015 and the subsequent by-election,[2] the political composition of Canterbury council is as follows:

Year Conservative Liberal Democrat Labour Party UKIP
2016313 3 2


Within the district are the towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable, which with the parishes and the cathedral city itself, make up the 'City of Canterbury' district. There are 26 parishes within the district, as follows:[3]

Swalecliffe is an unparished area within the district.

The area is largely rural, with a coastal strip taken up by the almost unbroken spread of seaside towns and beautiful beaches from Seasalter, west of Whitstable, to Herne Bay, Kent. Between them and the city, the hills rise into the well wooded historic Blean, south of which is the Great Stour flowing from its source beyond Ashford. The city of Canterbury stands upon this river.

Twin towns

The district participates in the Sister Cities programme, with links[4] to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, USA and Vladimir, Russia. The Three Towns Association was founded in 1985 on the initiative of three local clergymen to promote person to person contact between ordinary people in the then USSR, the UK, and the USA, with the audacious hope of doing our bit to help end the Cold War. The Association is the only twinning between the new District Council (i.e. including Whitstable and Herne Bay) as distinct from the old city council for Canterbury alone. A few years ago the name was changed to the Three Cities Association to avoid confusion, because the Three Cities of our name are – Canterbury (District); Vladimir (Владимир), USSR/Russia, & Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, USA The Association chose Vladimir as the seat of Christianity in Russia. Vladimir was already twinned with Bloomington-Normal, leading to completion of the circle in a three-way 'twinning'. In those early heady days of Gorbachev, the Association arranged a World First – home-stay school exchanges between the two Simon Langton Schools, and School No. 23 in Vladimir, a school in which the teaching was conducted in English. At that time, Russian was taught at the Langton schools, also facilitating communication. Association members are still in touch with friends from that era. These unique exchanges ran for several years, and attracted wide attention, including from Mrs Thatcher. Subsequent exchanges have been between musicians, dancers, academics, policemen, boxers, hairdressers.

Several towns and villages within the City of Canterbury district have their own twinning arrangements;[4] see in particular Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.

See also


  1. "Canterbury". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  2. (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Parish Councils". Canterbury City Council. 2008. Archived from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  4. 1 2

External links

Coordinates: 51°17′N 1°05′E / 51.28°N 1.08°E / 51.28; 1.08

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