Stoke-on-Trent City Council
|Founded||1 April 1974|
Cllr Ross Irving
Leader of the Council
Length of term
|Whole council elected every four years|
|2 May 2019|
|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 comprises 15 Labour councillors, 15 Conservative councillors, 11 City Independent councillors, 2 Independent councillors and one non-aligned independent councillor. It is led by a minority Conservative administration.
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 3 independent councillors.
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.
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. 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).
Further information: Stoke-on-Trent local elections
Since the first election in 1973 political control of the council was held by the following parties: The council is currently led by Cllr Abi Brown (Conservative).
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||2002–2004|
|No overall control||2006–2011|
|No overall control||2015–present|
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|
|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.|
On 4 May 2020, Councillor 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". 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". However, in late 2021, the police stated that after an investigation, a decision had been made not to bring charges against Mr. Pervez.
Deputy leader of the Labour opposition, Councillor Paul Shotton, took over Mr. Pervez's former opposition leadership role on an interim basis. Since the Autumn of 2020, Councillor 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.
In 2014, Councillor Paul 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". In 2014, Private Eye magazine awarded Councillor Shotton the "Rotten Boroughs award" for media manipulation.