Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Arms of Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Founded1 April 1974; 48 years ago (1974-04-01)
Ross Irving
Leader of the Council
Abi Brown, Conservative
since 14 May 2019[1]
City Director
Jon Rouse
Seats44 councillors
Stoke-on-Trent City Council composition
Political groups
  Conservative (22)
Other Parties
  Labour (13)
  City Independents (6)
  Independents (3)
Length of term
Whole council elected every four years
Last election
2 May 2019
Next election
May 2023
Meeting place
Civic Centre entrance, Stoke-on-Trent.JPG
Civic Centre, Glebe Street, Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is the local authority of Stoke-on-Trent, a unitary authority in the West Midlands region. As a unitary authority it has the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. As such, it is administratively separate from the rest of Staffordshire.

The council area elects 44 Councillors from 29 wards. Following the May 2019 local elections, Stoke-on-Trent City Council comprised 15 Labour councillors, 15 Conservative councillors, 11 City Independent councillors, two independent councillors and one non-aligned independent councillor. It is led by a minority Conservative administration.[2]

Since the 2019 local elections, a string of defections and resignations has significantly changed the composition of the council. There is now a majority Conservative administration, led by Abi Brown. There are 22 Conservative councillors, 13 Labour councillors, 6 City Independent councillors and three independent councillors.[citation needed]

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, Stoke-on-Trent is a non-metropolitan area of England. As a unitary authority, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has the powers and functions of both a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. In its capacity as a district council it is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. In its capacity as a county council it is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal.[citation needed]


A 2008 report by the Stoke-on-Trent Governance Commission to the Secretary of State for Local Government was highly critical of the political system then in use in the city.[3][4] This led to changes to the electoral map in May 2011: From a council of 60 members representing 20 wards with three councillors each, the size of the council was reduced to 44 councillors representing 37 wards (31 single member wards, five two-member wards and one three-member ward).[5]

Political control

Further information: Stoke-on-Trent local elections

Since the first election in 1973 political control of the council was held by the following parties:[6] The council is currently led by Abi Brown (Conservative).

Party in control Years
Labour 1973–2002
No overall control 2002–2004
Labour 2004–2006
No overall control 2006–2011
Labour 2011–2015
No overall control 2015–2019
Conservative 2019–present

Directly elected mayor

Further information: Directly elected mayor of Stoke-on-Trent

The executive function of Stoke-on-Trent City Council was controlled by a directly elected mayor of Stoke-on-Trent from 2002 to 2009, the position having been established by referendum on 2 May 2002. The position was abolished by referendum on 23 October 2008 and formally ceased to exist the following year.

Party in control Years
Independent 2002–2005
Labour 2005–2009

List of former council leaders

Leader Party Years Notes
Ted Smith Labour 1988–1997
Barry Stockley Labour 1997–2002
Geoff Davies City Independent May–Oct 2002 Independent-Conservative coalition
Mike Wolfe Independent 2002–2005 Directly-elected mayor
Mark Meredith Labour 2005–2009 Directly-elected mayor
Ross Irving Conservative 2009–2010 Conservative, independent, Lib Dem coalition
Mohammed Pervez Labour 2010–2015 Coalition to 2011; majority Labour 2011-2015
Dave Conway Coalition 2015–2018 Coalition between Conservative, independent and UKIP
Ann James Coalition 2018–2019 Coalition between Conservative and City Independents group.

In the media

On 4 May 2020, Mohammed Pervez, then leader of the Labour opposition and councillor for Moorcroft ward, announced his resignation after 14 years, citing "work-life balance" and a decision to "focus more on my daytime job and family".[7] The following day, local newspaper Stoke Sentinel quoted a Staffordshire Police spokesperson saying they were investigating Mr. Pervez following a complaint about an unspecified "alleged criminal offence".[8] However, in late 2021, the police stated that after an investigation, a decision had been made not to bring charges against Mr. Pervez.[9]

Deputy leader of the Labour opposition, Paul Shotton, took over Mr. Pervez's former opposition leadership role on an interim basis.[10] Since the Autumn of 2020, Jane Ashworth (Labour, Burslem Central) has served as leader of the opposition and leader of the Stoke-on-Trent Labour group. The Moorcroft by-election, which took place on 6 May 2021, resulted in Conservative Tariq Mahmood’s election to fill the vacancy. The police are currently investigating this election due to allegations of voter fraud.[11]

In 2014, Shotton, then deputy council leader, was reported to have "frequently" used false names to contact BBC Radio Stoke to praise the council's and his own work. This resulted in his suspension by the Labour party and the "loss of senior council roles".[12] In 2014, Private Eye magazine awarded Shotton the "Rotten Boroughs award" for media manipulation.[13]


  1. ^ "Veteran councillor voted Stoke-on-Trent's first ever female leader". Stoke Sentinel. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Cabinet and council leader". Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Stoke-on-Trent Governance Commission Report to John Healey, Minister for Local Government and to Stoke-on-Trent City Council" (PDF). 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  4. ^ Watson, Nick (28 May 2008). "Damaged Potteries". BBC Politics Show – West Midlands. BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Municipal Elections – Thursday, 5th May, 2011". 6 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Elections 2011 – England council elections – Stoke-on-Trent". BBC News. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Council of City of Stoke-on-Trent".
  8. ^ "Stoke Sentinel".
  9. ^ "Stoke & Staffordshire News - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Stoke Sentinel".
  11. ^ "Stoke-on-Trent Council" (PDF).
  12. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1522, p.20
  13. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1368, 2014.