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Babergh shown within Suffolk
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||East of England|
|Incorporated||1 April 1974|
|• Type||Non-metropolitan district council|
|• Body||Babergh District Council|
|• Leadership||Alternative - Sec.31 (Conservative)|
|• MPs||James Cartlidge|
|• Total||229.8 sq mi (595.2 km2)|
|Area rank||72nd (of 326)|
|• Rank||267th (of 326)|
|• Density||400/sq mi (150/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||98.7% White|
|Time zone||UTC0 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|ONS code||42UB (ONS)|
|OS grid reference|
Babergh (pronounced //, BAY-bə) is a local government district in Suffolk, England. Primarily a rural area, Babergh contains two towns of notable size: Sudbury, and Hadleigh, which was the administrative centre until 2017. Its council headquarters, which are shared with neighbouring Mid Suffolk, are now based in Ipswich.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the Borough of Sudbury, Hadleigh urban district, Cosford Rural District, Melford Rural District and Samford Rural District. The district did not have one party of councillors (nor a formal coalition of parties) exercising overall control until 2015.
Babergh had a population of 87,740 at the 2011 Census, and covers an area of approximately 230 square miles (600 km2).
It is named after the old Babergh hundred, referred to in the Domesday Book. The southern boundary of the district is marked almost exclusively by the River Stour, which also forms the border with Essex, and it is separated from Suffolk Coastal by the River Orwell.
'Constable Country' is cognate with a large tract of Babergh: drawing visitors to the conservation area Dedham Vale and the well-preserved villages of Long Melford, Lavenham and Kersey for painting, agricultural and architectural history, produce such as fruit, vegetables, cider, cheese and meat, shops, accommodation, restaurants and tea rooms.
Elections to the district are held every four years, with currently 43 councillors being elected from 26 wards. From the first election in 1973 to 2015 no party had won an overall majority on the council, but after the 2015 election, the Conservative party gained a large majority. After this election the council is composed of the following councillors:
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