Bristol City Council
Coat of arms
Council logo
Paul Goggin,
since 9 May 2023[2]
Marvin Rees,
since 7 May 2016
Stephen Peacock[1]
since October 2022[3]
Seats1 executive mayor
70 councillors[5]
Council political groups
  Green (24)
  Labour (23)
  Conservative (14)
  Liberal Democrat (5)
  Knowle Community Party (2)
  Independent (2)
Joint committees
West of England Combined Authority
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
Last Council election
6 May 2021 (all councillors)
Last Mayor election
6 May 2021
Next Council election
2 May 2024 (all councillors)
Virtute et Industria (By Virtue and Industry)
Meeting place
City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR
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 its directly elected mayor. 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.

In 2012, Bristol voted to change to a mayor run council, but in 2022 voted to return to a councillor committee run council to spread power and decision making. Following the 2024 Bristol City Council election, eight policy committees will take charge of different parts of the council. Policy committees will have about nine councillors from different political parties, with the committee chairs having a similar role to the previous cabinet members under the mayoral system. There will also be nine area committees to provide more district direction.[7]

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.[8]

Rees 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.[9][10] The result was to abolish the role of mayor from May 2024.[11]


Following the 2021 Bristol City Council election, no party held a majority in the chamber, 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, and the council continues to be led by the directly-elected executive Mayor.

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.[12]

On 24 December 2021, the Labour councillor for Southmead, Helen Godwin, announced she would be resigning, triggering a by-election for 17 February 2022,[13] at which Kye Dudd (former councillor for Central until May 2021) of the Labour Party was elected to replace her.[14]

The Green Party became the largest party in 2023 following the Hotwells and Harbourside by-election, gaining a seat from the Liberal Democrats.[15]

On 12 December 2023, Labour councillor for Filwood, Zoe Goodman resigned from the Labour Party over its response to what she called "the genocide in Gaza", becoming an Independent councillor.[16]

In March 2024, the Green party suspended one of their councillors for Ashley, Jude English, pending investigation of a complaint against her.[17]

Party Councillors
Green 24
Labour 23
Conservative 14
Liberal Democrats 5
Knowle Community Party 2
Independent 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.[18]

Position Party Person
Mayor, lead on City Policy, Strategic Planning and Communications, Council Plan Labour Marvin Rees
Deputy mayor, cabinet member for City Economy Finance and Performance Labour Craig Cheney
Cabinet member for Children Services, Education and Equalities Labour Asher Craig
Cabinet member for Waste, Climate, Ecology and Just Transition Labour Marley Bennett
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 Homelessness Labour Tom Renhard
Cabinet member for Transport Labour Don Alexander
Cabinet member for Housing Services and Energy Labour Kye Dudd

Bristol City Youth Council

The Bristol City Youth Council (BCYC) are an elected group of young people aged 11 to 18. Members are voted for in the Bristol Big Youth Vote, which takes place in schools, with students voting. The constituencies for Youth Council are divided into Bristol North, Bristol East Central, and Bristol South, with each area having eight members. This is in addition to several co-optees from special representation groups such as Young Carers, Unity Youth, and the Children in Care Council.

The purpose of the Youth Council is express young people's views on the decisions that are important to them and that their opinions are voiced and heard. They also run internal and external campaigns

The Youth Council also internally elects two members of youth parliament (MYP), and two youth mayors. The youth mayors act as advisors to the mayor, Marvin Rees, and attend meetings and accompany him to events.[19] As of February 2023, the Youth Mayors are Mya Parker and Felix Massey.[19]

See also


  1. ^ "Bristol City Council Senior Leadership".
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 9 May 2023". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  3. ^ Postans, Adam (20 September 2023). "Bristol City Council chief executive has contract extended to oversee move to committee system". Bristol Live. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  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. ^ Seabrook, Alex (29 December 2023). "The huge political switch happening in Bristol in 2024 that will completely change how the city is run". Bristol Post. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  8. ^ "Mayoral election results". Bristol City Council. 8 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  9. ^ Cameron, Amanda (7 December 2021). "Bristol mayoral referendum to be held in 2022". Bristol Post. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Bristol mayoral referendum to be held in 2022". BBC News. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Bristol Mayor Vote: Voters Decide to Abolish Mayor Post". BBC News. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  12. ^ Booth, Martin (13 December 2021). "Longstanding Lib Dem Councillors' resignations throw party into turmoil". Bristol24-7. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  13. ^ Cork, Tristian (24 December 2021). "Southmead councillor quits triggering by-election in the new year". Bristol Post. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  14. ^ Adam Postans (18 February 2022). "Labour wins Southmead by-election despite Green surge". Bristol Live.
  15. ^ Seabrook, Alex (3 February 2023). "Bristol by-election: Green Party becomes largest on council". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  16. ^ Booth, Martin (13 December 2023). "LABOUR COUNCILLOR RESIGNS OVER PARTY'S PALESTINE POLICY". Bristol24/7. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  17. ^ Pipe, Ellie (20 March 2024). "GREEN COUNCILLOR SUSPENDED FROM PARTY". Bristol 24/7. Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  18. ^ "The Mayor and Cabinet". Bristol City Council.
  19. ^ a b "Bristol City Youth Council and Youth Mayors". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 21 February 2023.