Glasgow City Council
Full council election every 5 years
Coat of arms
Glasgow City Council logo
Preceded byGlasgow District Council
Cllr Philip Braat, Labour
since 23 January 2020
Leader of the Council
Cllr Susan Aitken, SNP
since 18 May 2017[1]
Chief executive
Annemarie O'Donnell
since 12 November 2014
Political groups
  SNP (35)
Other parties
  Labour (30)
  Conservative (7)
  Greens (6)
  Independent (5)
  Alba (2)
Single transferable vote
Last election
5 May 2017
Next election
5 May 2022[2]
Let Glasgow Flourish
Meeting place
Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Council is the local government authority for the City of Glasgow, Scotland. It was created in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, largely with the boundaries of the post-1975 City of Glasgow district of the Strathclyde region.


Main article: Politics of Glasgow

The early city, a sub-regional capital of the old Lanarkshire county, was run by the old "Glasgow Town Council" based at the Tollbooth, Glasgow Cross.[3] In 1895, the Town Council became "The Corporation of the City of Glasgow" ("Glasgow Corporation" or "City Corporation"), around the same time as its headquarters moved to the newly built Glasgow City Chambers in George Square.[4]

It retained this title until local government re-organisation in 1975, when it became the "City of Glasgow District Council", a second-tier body under Strathclyde Regional Council which was also headquartered in Glasgow. Created under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, it included the former county of the city of Glasgow and a number of areas previously within the county of Lanark: Cambuslang (Central and North, and South lying outwith East Kilbride), Rutherglen (including the burgh of Rutherglen), part of a Carmunnock area (that lying outwith East Kilbride) and Baillieston, Carmyle, Garrowhill, Mount Vernon and Springboig.[5][6][7]

The city council established in 1996 (Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994) was one of the newly created single-tier local authorities, taking on the powers and responsibilities previously divided between the City of Glasgow District and Strathclyde Region bodies, which were abolished, and with boundaries somewhat different from those of the former: the Cambuslang, Halfway, Rutherglen and Fernhill areas (four wards) were transferred from the city area to the new South Lanarkshire council area.

Council structure

The council is ceremonially headed by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, who is elected to convene the council and perform associated tasks as a general civic leader and Lord Lieutenant; the role has history dating from the 15th century. The current Lord Provost, elected in January 2020, is Philip Braat[8][9] with previous incumbent Eva Bolander (in post from May 2017 to October 2019)[10] having resigned following criticism of her personal 'civic allowance' spending.[11]

The council's executive branch is headed by a Leader of the Council, who is the leader of the largest political grouping, currently the Scottish National Party. The executive committee is usually formed of 19 members across all the elected parties proportionally, however this would have given the SNP a majority of 10 seats despite not gaining one through the election. The Greens proposed an amendment to add an additional seat for each party, making the SNP the biggest minority party.[12] It was passed and so its composition of 23 seats is currently:[13]

Affiliation Councillors
Scottish National Party 11
Scottish Labour 8
Scottish Conservatives 2
Scottish Greens 2

History of leaders and administrations

Controlling party Years Leader
Labour 1980–2017
1996–1997: Bob Gould (Labour)
1997–1999: Frank McAveety (Labour)
1999–2005: Charlie Gordon (Labour)
2005–2010: Steven Purcell (Labour)
2010–2015: Gordon Matheson (Labour)
2015–2017: Frank McAveety (Labour)
No overall control 2017–present 2017–present: Susan Aitken (SNP)


Main article: 2017 Glasgow City Council election

The council consists of 85 councillors elected for a five-year term from 23 wards. These wards were introduced for the 2017 election, replacing those introduced in 2007, and each returns three or four members by the single transferable vote system of election. This system was introduced by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004,[14] as a means of ensuring a reasonably proportionately representative outcome.

The most recent full council election took place on Thursday 4 May 2017. The Scottish National Party became the largest party (39) but did not gain an overall majority; Labour returned fewer councillors (31) and lost overall control, with increased numbers for the Conservatives (8) and the Scottish Greens (7).

Previous elections

Since creation of Glasgow City Council

Current multi-member ward system

Main article: Wards of Glasgow

For previous ward compositions, see Wards of Glasgow#Previous ward systems

Current multi-member wards by number
Current multi-member wards by number

A new multi-member ward system was introduced for the 2017 council election:

Ward Number of councillors Population
1. Linn[a] 4 members 29,575
2. Newlands/Auldburn[b] 3 members 23,144
3. Greater Pollok[c] 4 members 30,729
4. Cardonald[d] 4 members 29,639
5. Govan[e] 4 members 26,769
6. Pollokshields[f] 4 members 27,983
7. Langside[g] 4 members 29,060
8. Southside Central[h] 4 members 25,266
9. Calton[i] 4 members 27,460
10. Anderston/City/Yorkhill[j] 4 members 30,184
11. Hillhead[k] 3 members 25,411
12. Victoria Park[l] 3 members 20,950
13. Garscadden/Scotstounhill[m] 4 members 30,565
14. Drumchapel/Anniesland[n] 4 members 29,432
15. Maryhill[o] 3 members 22,244
16. Canal[p] 4 members 25,000
17. Springburn/Robroyston[q] 4 members 27,237
18. East Centre[r] 4 members 27,991
19. Shettleston[s] 4 members 25,806
20. Baillieston[t] 3 members 21,663
21. North East[u] 3 members 20,457
22. Dennistoun[v] 3 members 20,861
23. Partick East/Kelvindale[w] 4 members 28,914

Ward notes

  1. ^ Carmunnock, Castlemilk, Cathcart (part), Croftfoot, King's Park (part), Muirend, Simshill
  2. ^ Arden, Auldhouse, Carnwadric, Cowglen, Eastwood, Hillpark, Kennishead, Mansewood, Merrylee, Newlands, Pollokshaws
  3. ^ Crookston (part), Darnley, Deaconsbank, Hurlet, Nitshill, Parkhouse, Pollok (part), Priesthill, Southpark
  4. ^ Cardonald, Corkerhill, Crookston (part), Hillington, Mosspark, Penilee, Pollok (part)
  5. ^ Cessnock, Drumoyne, Govan, Ibrox, Kinning Park, Shieldhall, Tradeston
  6. ^ Bellahouston, Craigton, Dumbreck, Pollokshields, Port Eglinton, Shawlands (part), Strathbungo
  7. ^ Battlefield, Cathcart (part), Langside, King's Park (part), Mount Florida, Shawlands (part), Toryglen
  8. ^ Crosshill, Gorbals, Queen's Park, Govanhill, Hutchesontown, Oatlands
  9. ^ Barrowfield, Bridgeton, Calton, Dalmarnock, Gallowgate, Newbank, Parkhead (part)
  10. ^ Anderston, Charing Cross, Cowcaddens, Finnieston, Garnethill, Glasgow City Centre, Kelvingrove, Kelvinhaugh, Merchant City, Townhead, Yorkhill
  11. ^ Hillhead, Kelvinbridge, North Kelvinside, Park District, St George's Cross, Woodlands, Woodside
  12. ^ Anniesland (part), Broomhill, Glasgow Harbour, Jordanhill, Thornwood, Whiteinch
  13. ^ Garscadden, Knightswood (part), Scotstounhill, Scotstoun, Yoker
  14. ^ Anniesland (part), Blairdardie, Drumchapel, Knightswood (part), Old Drumchapel, Temple
  15. ^ Gilshochill, Maryhill, Summerston, Wyndford
  16. ^ Cadder, Colston, Hamiltonhill, Milton, Lambhill, Parkhouse, Port Dundas, Possilpark, Ruchill
  17. ^ Balornock, Barmulloch, Millerston (part), Robroyston, Springburn
  18. ^ Barlanark, Cranhill, Carntyne, Greenfield Riddrie, Springboig
  19. ^ Braidfauld, Carmyle, Lilybank, Mount Vernon, Parkhead (part), Sandyhills, Shettleston, Tollcross
  20. ^ Baillieston, Broomhouse, Easthall, Garrowhill, Swinton, Wellhouse
  21. ^ Blackhill, Craigend, Easterhouse, Garthamlock, Hogganfield, Ruchazie
  22. ^ Dennistoun, Germiston, Haghill, Royston, Sighthill
  23. ^ Dowanhill, Hyndland, Kelvindale, Kelvinside, Partick (part)


In July 2020, Private Eye magazine reported a company run by SNP council leader Susan Aitken's husband was one of 11 chosen by the council to be charged £1 per year to rent refurbished shops and that Ms Aitken had not declared any interest related to that. The Glasgow Times reported the Ethical Standards Commissioner (ESC) office had concluded Ms Aitken had not breached the councillor's code of conduct. However, Private Eye reported that when their reporter contacted the ESC office for confirmation, they were told the office "could not comment".

In the same article, Private Eye noted since April 2019, three SNP councillors had quit the party claiming "Aitken is a bully and a dictator". One of these was Cllr Elspeth Kerr, an SNP member for 30 years, who is quoted as saying "Glasgow city council ... is nothing but a dictatorship. I cannot stand by a party that allows bullying and corruption of this nature".[21]

See also


  1. ^ "SNP will run Glasgow Council as minority". 18 May 2017 – via
  2. ^[bare URL]
  3. ^ Trongate, 1770 (Mitchell Library, Foulis Academy Prints), The Glasgow Story
  4. ^ City Chambers (Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection), The Glasgow Story
  5. ^ "New Local Government areas". Hansard. 22 October 1973. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  6. ^ Irene Maver. "Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day > Neighbourhoods". The Glasgow Story. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Scotland's Landscape: City of Glasgow". BBC. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  8. ^ New Lord Provost elected to Glasgow City Council, BBC News, 23 January 2020
  9. ^ Everything you need to know about Glasgow's new Lord Provost Philip Braat, Glasgow Live, 23 January 2020
  10. ^ "Glasgow's new Lord Provost is revealed". Evening Times.
  11. ^ Glasgow Lord Provost Eva Bolander resigns after expenses row, BBC News, 31 October 2019
  12. ^ "Garscadden/Scotstounhill councillor to oversee all city schools as new minority SNP council takes charge". Clydebank Post. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Glasgow City Council on Twitter". Twitter. Glasgow City Council. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  14. ^ See also Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website
  15. ^ Scottish Council Elections 1995 - Results and Statistics, H.M. Bochel, D.T. Denver, p.95-97
  16. ^ Scottish Council Elections 1999 - Results and Statistics, H.M. Bochel, D.T. Denver
  17. ^ Chapter 57 Clyde Councils, Local Election Results, 5th May 2003, Andrew Teale
  18. ^ Local Election Results 3rd May 2007, Andrew Teale (2008)
  19. ^ Local Election Results 2012: Glasgow, Local Elections Archive Project (LEAP), Andrew Teale
  20. ^ "Local Ward Factsheets". Glasgow City Council. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  21. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1527, p.21
Awards and achievements Preceded byDurham LGC Council of the Year 2015 Succeeded byTameside Metropolitan