Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Coat of arms
Founded1 April 1974
Robert Taylor,
since 19 May 2023[1]
Chris Read,
since 4 March 2015[2]
Sharon Kemp
since February 2016[3]
Seats59 councillors
Political groups
Administration (33)
  Labour (33)
Other parties (26)
  Conservative (15)
  Independent (7)
  Liberal Democrats (4)
Joint committees
South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
Meeting place
Town Hall, The Crofts, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, S60 2TH

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council, one of four in South Yorkshire and one of 36 in the metropolitan counties of England. The council was created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972.


The town of Rotherham had been a municipal borough from 1871. In 1902 it was elevated to become a county borough, taking over county-level functions from West Riding County Council.[4]

The county borough was abolished in 1974 and replaced by the larger Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, which also took in the areas of the abolished urban districts of Maltby, Rawmarsh, Swinton, and Wath upon Dearne, plus the Kiveton Park Rural District and Rotherham Rural District.[5] The enlarged district was named Rotherham after its largest town.[6] The new district was awarded borough status from its creation, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor, continuing Rotherham's series of mayors dating back to 1871.[7]

Until 1986 the council provided district-level services, with county-level services provided by South Yorkshire County Council. Following the abolition of the county council in 1986, Rotherham also took on county-level services, with some functions provided in joint arrangements with the other South Yorkshire boroughs.[8][9]

In February 2015 the council had certain decision-making powers suspended and transferred to commissioners appointed by the government after the council was severely criticised by the Casey report into the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.[10][11] The commissioners were wound up in September 2018, when normal powers were restored to the council.[12][13]


The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Rotherham is within a metropolitan area of England. It provides the majority of local government services in Rotherham, including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. The council appoints members to South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel and it is a constituent council of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. Parts of the borough are covered by civil parishes, which form a second tier of local government for their areas.

Political control

The council has been under Labour majority control since the creation of the metropolitan borough in 1974.[14]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Rotherham. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1990 have been:[15]

Councillor Party From To
Mark Edgell Labour 1990 12 Sep 2003
Roger Stone[16] Labour 24 Sep 2003 26 Aug 2014
Paul Lakin[17] Labour 10 Sep 2014 4 Feb 2015
Chris Read Labour 4 Mar 2015


Following the 2024 election, the composition of the council was:

Party Councillors
Labour 33
Conservative 13
Independent 10
Liberal Democrats 3
Total 59


See also: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2020 the council has comprised 59 councillors representing 25 wards, with each ward electing two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[18][19]


The council meets at Rotherham Town Hall on The Crofts in the centre of Rotherham, which had been built as a courthouse in 1929 and was bought by the council in 1985 to use as a town hall.[20]

Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham, S60 1AE: Council's main offices
Civic Building: Council's former headquarters, since demolished.

The council has its main offices at a modern building called Riverside House on Main Street, which it moved to in 2011.[21] Prior to moving to Riverside House the main offices were at the Civic Building on Walker Place, a 1970s building which was subsequently demolished to make way for a supermarket.

See also


  1. ^ "Council minutes, 19 May 2023". Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 4 March 2015" (PDF). Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Sharon Kemp". Early Intervention Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  4. ^ "Rotherham Municipal Borough / County Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 10 March 2024.
  5. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 10 March 2024
  6. ^ "The Metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/137, retrieved 11 March 2024
  7. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  8. ^ "South Yorkshire Joint Authorities Governance Unit". Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1985",, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 11 March 2024
  10. ^ Pidd, Helen; Laville, Sandra (4 February 2015). "Government to take over Rotherham council after damning child exploitation report". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Eric Pickles names new Rotherham Council leaders". BBC News. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Commissioners". Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  13. ^ Mann, Tanveer (18 September 2018). "Rotherham council given back control three years after child sex abuse scandal". Metro. Retrieved 11 March 2024.
  14. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Council minutes". Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  16. ^ "Leader of Rotherham Council steps down over findings". ITV News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Rotherham abuse: Council leader and cabinet to resign after damning report". ITV News. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  18. ^ "The Rotherham (Electoral Changes) Order 2018",, The National Archives, SI 2018/327, retrieved 12 March 2024
  19. ^ "Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Rotherham Town Circular Walk" (PDF). Don Valley Way. p. 4. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  21. ^ Dennison, Gareth (25 August 2011). "£9.9m bill to equip Rotherham Council's new offices". Rotherham Advertiser. Retrieved 12 March 2024.