The Borough of Colchester is a local government district and borough in Essex, England, named after its main town, Colchester. The borough covers an area of 125 square miles (320 km2) and stretches from Dedham Vale on the Suffolk border in the north to Mersea Island on the Colne Estuary in the south.
The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the former borough of Colchester, covering an area of around 17.7 square miles (46 km2), with the urban districts of West Mersea and Wivenhoe, along with Lexden and Winstree Rural District.
The Essex County Standard of September 4, 2009 said that "Government estimates" made Colchester the largest borough in the county: its officially acknowledged population is second highest among non-London boroughs, behind Northampton.
Based on ethnic groups, predominantly of 92% of the population is White (87.5% British, 0.7% Irish and 3.8% Other White), Asians were the second largest making up 3.6% (0.8% Indian, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.2% Bangladeshi and 1% Chinese, other 1.4%), Black people constituted 1.4% (0.3% Caribbean, 1% African, 0.1% other), those of mixed race made up 1.8%, 0.6% were Arab and there were 0.4% from other ethnic groups.
In the 2011 census, 57.7% identified themselves as Christian, while 31.4% had no affiliation to a religion. Of other religions, 1.6% identified as Muslim, 0.7% Hindu, 0.6% Buddhist, 0.2% Jewish, 0.1% Sikh, 0.5% others, and 7.3% did not answer. There are more than 100 churches located in Colchester: other religious places of worship include the Colchester Islamic Cultural Association and the Jewish Community Synagogue.
Colchester is the oldest recorded town in Britain, being founded by the Romans as their capital. Colchester was one of the three towns attacked by Boadicea. It is home to many historic buildings, including the Norman castle, built on the remains of a Roman temple; the Tudor town house, now Red Lion Inn, which was owned by the Howard family; a Saxon church and many more.
Elections to Colchester Borough Council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the 60 seats on the council being elected at each election. Since the 1998 election no party has held a majority on the council apart from the period between 2007 and the 2008 election when the Conservative party had a majority. Since the 2008 election the council has been run by a coalition between the Liberal Democrats, Labour and independent groups and as of the 2016 election the council is composed of the following councillors:-