North Somerset Council
Founded1 April 1996 (1996-04-01)
Preceded byAvon County Council
Woodspring District Council
Wendy Griggs,
Liberal Democrat
since 23 May 2023[1]
Mike Bell,
Liberal Democrat
since 23 May 2023
Jo Walker
since January 2019[2]
Seats50 councillors
Political groups
Administration (35)
  Labour (10)
  Liberal Democrats (9)
  Green (8)
  Independent (5)
  Portishead Ind. (3)
Opposition (15)
  Conservative (13)
  Independent (2)
Length of term
Whole council elected every four years
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare
Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ

North Somerset Council is the local authority of North Somerset, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. The council meets at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall.


North Somerset Council provides both county-level and district-level services. The whole area is also covered by civil parishes, which form a second tier of local government.[3]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since 2019.

The first election to Woodspring District Council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[4][5]

Woodspring district

Party in control Years
Conservative 1974–1995
No overall control 1995–1996

North Somerset unitary authority

Party in control Years
Liberal Democrats 1996–1999
Conservative 1999–2003
No overall control 2003–2007
Conservative 2007–2019
No overall control 2019–present


The leaders of the council since 2005 have been:[6]

Councillor Party From To
Alan Hockridge[7] Liberal Democrats 2005 14 Apr 2007
Nigel Ashton[8] Conservative 2007 14 May 2019
Don Davies Independent 14 May 2019 10 May 2022
Steve Bridger Independent 10 May 2022 12 May 2023
Mike Bell[9] Liberal Democrats 12 May 2023


Following the 2023 North Somerset Council election and a by-election in November 2023, the composition of the council was:

Party Councillors
Conservative 13
Labour 10
Liberal Democrats 9
Green 8
Independent 7
Portishead Independents 3
Total 50

Of the independent councillors, three sit in a group with the Liberal Democrats, one sits with the Portishead Independents, two sit with the Conservatives and the other does not belong to a group.[10] The next election is due in 2027.


See also: North Somerset Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2015 the council has comprised 50 councillors representing 35 wards, with each ward electing one or two councillors. Elections are held every four years.[11]


The council is based at Weston-super-Mare Town Hall on Walliscote Grove Road. The building had been the headquarters of the old Weston-super-Mare Borough Council, one of Woodspring's predecessors, having been built in 1856 for the town's improvement commissioners, predecessors of the borough council.[12]


  1. ^ "Council minutes, 23 May 2023". North Somerset Council. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  2. ^ Wright, Tom (17 October 2018). "New chief executive appointed by North Somerset Council". Weston Mercury. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  4. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  5. ^ "England council elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Council minutes". North Somerset Council. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  7. ^ "North Somerset council boss dies". BBC News. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  8. ^ Angear, Simon (19 January 2018). "Council leader slams his own party for treating elderly 'without dignity'". Weston Mercury. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Partnership Administration announced for North Somerset". North Somerset Council. 12 May 2023. Archived from the original on 14 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Your councillors by political grouping". North Somerset Council. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  11. ^ "The North Somerset (Electoral Changes) Order 2014",, The National Archives, SI 2014/3291, retrieved 13 December 2023
  12. ^ Historic England. "The Town Hall (1138148)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 December 2020.