31st March 1998
This was the day that Herefordshire Council was formed. The old county of Hereford and Worcester (which had been introduced in 1974) was scrapped, and all the district councils, including Hereford City, within the county of Herefordshire were merged into a single local authority for the whole county. This is known as a unitary authority and remains the main provider of local government services across the county to this day, covering schools, social services, housing, economic regeneration and planning to name a few key ones.
Much of the county already had parish councils, and all the market towns were ready to become parish councils within the new county. The City Council was not and for two years it existed as Charter Trustees. This meant that it maintained the Mayor of Hereford, looked after the historic silver plate, ceremonial robes etc and carried out some purely ceremonial functions.
In 2000, the City Council was reconstituted as a parish council with the same limited powers as the rural communities and the market towns. The Queen renewed Hereford’s city charter which is why we are called the City Council, not Hereford Parish Council, although it makes no difference to our legal status.