Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth City Council logo
Founded1 April 1997
Preceded byHampshire County Council
Tom Coles,
since 16 May 2023
Steve Pitt,
Liberal Democrat
since 16 May 2023
Natalie Brahma-Pearl
since 2023
Seats42 councillors
Political groups
Administration (18)
  Liberal Democrats (18)
Opposition (24)
  Independent[a] (9)
  Conservative (8)
  Labour (7)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
May 2024
Heaven's Light Our Guide
Meeting place
The Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council is the local authority of the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire, 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, town planning, waste collection, and disposal, and it is a local education authority.


Portsmouth had been an ancient borough. In 1836, it underwent reform to become a municipal borough, ruled by a body also known as the town council. When elected county councils were established in 1889, Portsmouth was considered large enough to run its own services, so it was made a county borough, independent from Hampshire County Council.[1]

Portsmouth was granted city status on 21 April 1926, after which the corporation was also known as Portsmouth City Council.[2] The powers of the council were substantially reformed in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, becoming a non-metropolitan district with Hampshire County Council providing county-level services to the city. Portsmouth regained its independence from Hampshire County Council on 1 April 1997, when it was made a unitary authority.[3]

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Portsmouth is within a non-metropolitan area of England. As a unitary authority, Portsmouth City Council has the powers and functions of both a non-metropolitan county and a district council combined. In its capacity as a district council, it is a billing authority, collecting council tax and business rates; processing local planning applications; and it is responsible for housing, waste collection, Trading Standards, and environmental health. It functions as a Port Health Authority for its surrounding waters.[4] In its capacity as a unitary council, it is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries, and waste disposal.

Political composition

Portsmouth City Council consists of 42 councillors, with one third of the council being elected every four years, electing one out of three councillors for each of the city's 14 wards.

The following parties have held political sway over the council since its first election in 1973:

Party in control
Non-metropolitan district
Conservative 1973–1990[5]
No overall control 1990–1995
Labour 1995–1997
Unitary authority
Labour 1996–2000
No overall control 2000–2009[6][7]
Liberal Democrats 2009–2014[8]
No overall control (Conservative Administration) 2014–2018[9]
No overall control (Liberal Democrat Administration) 2018–present[10]

Councillors and wards

List of Portsmouth city councillors by ward:[11]

Ward Councillor Term in
Baffins Darren Sanders 2021–24 Sanders was his party's candidate in the 2001, 2010, 2015, and 2017 general elections in the Portsmouth North constituency, and his party's candidate in the 2005 general election in the Streatham constituency.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness.

Baffins Abdul Kadir 2022–26
Baffins Leone Oliver 2023-27
Central Southsea Charlotte Gerada 2021–24 Leader of the Labour Group
Central Southsea George Fielding 2022–26
Central Southsea Suzy Horton 2019–23 Deputy Group Leader; Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education.
Charles Dickens Kirsty Mellor 2021–24
Charles Dickens Yinka Adeniran 2022–26
Charles Dickens Cal Corkery 2023–27
Copnor Lewis Gosling 2021–24
Copnor Ben Swann 2022–26
Copnor Robert New 2019–23
Cosham Asghar Shah 2022–26
Cosham Mary Vallely 2023–27
Cosham Matthew Atkins 2021–24
Drayton & Farlington Ryan Brent 2021–24 Conservative Deputy Group Leader
Drayton & Farlington Simon Bosher 2022–26 Conservative Group Leader
Drayton & Farlington Hannah Brent 2019–23
Eastney & Craneswater John Smith 2021–24
Eastney & Craneswater Matthew Winnington 2022–26 Winnington was his party's candidate for Fareham in the 2015, 2017, and 2019 general election.
Eastney & Craneswater Peter Candish 2019–23
Fratton Stuart Brown 2021–24
Fratton Tom Coles 2022–26 Lord Mayor
Fratton Dave Ashmore 2019–23 Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environment.
Hilsea Daniel Wemyss 2021–24
Hilsea Russell Simpson 2022–26
Hilsea Scott Payter-Harris 2019–23
Milton Kimberly Barrett 2021–24 Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Green Recovery.
Milton Steve Pitt 2022–24 Leader of the council and of the Liberal Democrats group since 2023. Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development
Milton Gerald Vernon-Jackson 2019–23 Formerly Liberal Democrats group leader and leader of the council since 2018. Vernon-Jackson was his party's candidate for Portsmouth South in the 2015 and 2017 general elections. Former Portsmouth Council Leader from 2004 to 2014.
Nelson Leo Madden 2021–24 Former Leader of the Council from 1994-2000, and again from 2001-2002.
Nelson Jason Fazackarley 2022–26 Deputy Lord Mayor. Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing & Social Care.
Nelson Lee Hunt 2019–23 Cabinet Member for Community Safety
Paulsgrove George Madgwick 2021–24
Paulsgrove Brian Madgwick 2022–26
Paulsgrove Gemma New 2019–23
St Jude Hugh Mason 2021–24 Cabinet Member for Planning Policy & City Development.
St Jude Judith Smyth 2022–26
St Jude Graham Heaney 2019–23
St Thomas Ian Holder 2021–24
St Thomas Mark Jeffrey 2022–26
St Thomas Chris Attwell 2019–23 Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services.

See also


  1. ^ Being 6 "Porstmouth Independent Party" and 3 others
  1. ^ "Portsmouth Municipal Borough / County Borough". 24 May 2023. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  2. ^ "No. 33154". The London Gazette. 23 April 1926. p. 2776.
  3. ^ "The Hampshire (Cities of Portsmouth and Southampton)(Structural Change) Order 1995", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1995/1775, retrieved 24 May 2023
  4. ^ "Port Health Authority".
  5. ^ "Portsmouth City Council Election Results 1973–1995" (PDF). The Elections Centre, Plymouth University. June 2015.
  6. ^ "Portsmouth Local Elections 2007". BBC News. 4 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Portsmouth Local Elections 2008". BBC News. 2 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Lib Dems claim fourth defection". BBC News Online. 27 January 2009.
  9. ^ "Conservatives continue running Portsmouth City Council". BBC News. 20 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Gerald Vernon-Jackson replaces Donna Jones as Portsmouth City Council leader". The News. Portsmouth. 15 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Your Councillors by Ward". Portsmouth City Council. 3 May 2018.