Bristol City Council
Arms of Bristol City Council.svg
Coat of arms
Bristol City Council logo.svg
Council logo
Founded1 April 1974 (1974-04-01)
Steve Smith, Conservative
since 25 May 2021[3]
Marvin Rees, Labour
since 7 May 2016
Deputy Mayors
Craig Cheney
Asher Craig,
Opposition Leader
Heather Mack[1], Green
since 24 November 2021
Chief Executive
Mike Jackson[2]
Seats1 executive mayor
70 councillors[5]
Bristol City Council December 2021.svg
Council political groups
  Green (24)
  Labour (24)
  Conservative (14)
  Liberal Democrat (6)
  Knowle Community Party (2)
Length of term
Executive mayor elected every four years
Full council election every 4 years.[4] Formerly a third elected three years out of four until 2016.
Supplementary vote
Council last election
6 May 2021 (all councillors)
Mayor last election
6 May 2021
Council next election
2024 (all councillors)
Virtute et Industria (By Virtue and Industry)
Meeting place
Bristol Council House - - 197619.jpg
City Hall, College Green, Bristol
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Bristol City Council is the local authority of Bristol, England. The council is a unitary authority, and is unusual in the United Kingdom in that its executive function is controlled by a directly elected mayor of Bristol. Bristol has 34 wards, electing a total of 70 councillors.[6]


Main article: History of Bristol City Council

The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972. It was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the non-metropolitan district of Bristol on 1 April 1974.

Under the Local Government Act 1972 Bristol as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with the Avon County Council. This arrangement lasted until 1996 when Avon County Council was abolished and Bristol City Council gained responsibility for services that had been provided by the county council.

Political composition


Main article: Mayor of Bristol

The mayor of Bristol following the 2021 mayoral election is Marvin Rees for the Labour Party. Originally intended to serve for four years from 2016, his first term was extended by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was re-elected for a shortened three-year term in 2021.[7]

Rees had previously ran in the first Bristol mayoral election, coming second place to the independent George Ferguson.

On 7 December 2021, the majority of opposition councillors backed a legally binding motion to hold a referendum on the future of the role of the Elected Mayor of Bristol. The referendum on in May 2022 offered Bristolians the choice of keeping an elected mayor or reverting to a committee system of governance.[8][9] The result was to abolish the role of mayor from May 2024.[10]


Since the 2021 Bristol City Council election, the council has been under no overall control, with both the Green Party and Labour holding the same number of seats. The council had previously been controlled by the Labour Party since 2016.

The Liberal Democrats gained eight seats in the election. However, on 13 December 2021, former Lord Mayor Chris Davies and former Lib Dem Bristol group leader Gary Hopkins defected from the party to form the Knowle Community Party.[11]

On 24 December 2021, the Labour councillor for Southmead, Helen Godwin, announced she would be resigning, triggering a by-election for 17 February 2022,[12] at which Kye Dudd (former councillor for Central until May 2021) of the Labour Party was elected to replace her.[13]

Party Councillors
Green 24
Labour 24
Conservative 14
Liberal Democrats 6
Knowle Community Party 2


The cabinet is led by Mayor Marvin Rees and currently consists of nine members (including Rees). All cabinet members are currently part of the Labour Party.[14]

Position Party Person
Mayor, lead on Planning and City Design Labour Marvin Rees
Deputy mayor, cabinet member for City Economy Finance and Performance Labour Craig Cheney
Deputy mayor, cabinet member for Children Services, Education and Equalities Labour Asher Craig
Cabinet member for Public Health and Communities Labour Ellie King
Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Integrated Care System Labour Helen Holland
Cabinet member for Strategic Planning, Resilience and Floods Labour Nicola Beech
Cabinet member for Housing Delivery and Homes Labour Tom Renhard
Cabinet member for Transport Labour Don Alexander
Cabinet member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy Labour Kye Dudd

See also


  1. ^ "Green Group elects new leadership team". Bristol Green Party.
  2. ^ "North Somerset Council chief executive to move to Bristol City Council". 22 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Councillor Steve Smith elected Bristol's new Lord Mayor". Bristol City Council Newsroom. 25 May 2021.
  4. ^ Bristol City Council
  5. ^ "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections". Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  6. ^ Political makeup of the council
  7. ^ "Mayoral election results". Bristol City Council. 8 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  8. ^ Cameron, Amanda (7 December 2021). "Bristol mayoral referendum to be held in 2022". Bristol Post. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Bristol mayoral referendum to be held in 2022". BBC News. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Bristol Mayor Vote: Voters Decide to Abolish Mayor Post". BBC News. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  11. ^ Booth, Martin (13 December 2021). "Longstanding Lib Dem Councillors' resignations throw party into turmoil". Bristol24-7. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  12. ^ Cork, Tristian (24 December 2021). "Southmead councillor quits triggering by-election in the new year". Bristol Post. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  13. ^ Adam Postans (18 February 2022). "Labour wins Southmead by-election despite Green surge". Bristol Live.
  14. ^ "The Mayor and Cabinet". Bristol City Council.