Some form of local government has been administered from the Town Hall since its opening. Major changes have been the result of national legislation to reform the structure and powers of local councils.

The Alderman & Corporation

When the Town Hall was opened in 1860, Wokingham was administered by an unelected Corporation consisting of an Alderman and about seven Burgesses. This small group met in the Council Chamber, now the Annexe.

The Borough Council with Mayor

In 1885, following the 1882 Act, Queen Victoria granted Wokingham a charter making it a Municipal Borough. This larger Council, initially elected by male suffrage, elected a Mayor. It held meetings in the Main Hall. With an expanding population and increased powers, Borough Council responsibilities grew. When the Police left in 1905, the Council bought accommodation from the County Council for offices. In 1965 much of the work was transferred to the new Council offices in Wellington Road.

The Town Council with Mayor

Under the act of 1972 much of the administration of the town was taken over by Wokingham District Council, now Wokingham Borough Council. Wokingham remained a Parish Council which, in view of its historic past, was given the title of Town Council and retained its Mayor, its coat of arms, its ceremonies and base in the Town Hall. Council meetings are still held in the Main Hall and the Council Chamber while the Mayor’s Parlour and Town Council offices occupy the other rooms. Other rooms are let to businesses and organisations and the Town Hall is licensed for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.

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