Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Arms of Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Majid Khan,
since 25 May 2023[1]
Jane Ashworth,
since 25 May 2023[2]
Jon Rouse
since February 2020[3]
Seats44 councillors
Stoke-on-Trent City Council composition
Political groups
Administration (29)
  Labour (29)
Other parties (15)
  Conservative (14)
  City Independents (1)
Length of term
Whole council elected every four years
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Town Hall and Civic Centre, Glebe Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1HH

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is the local authority of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. As a unitary authority, it has the combined powers of a county council and district council and is administratively separate from the rest of Staffordshire.

The council has been run by a Labour administration since the May 2023 elections.


A Stoke-on-Trent Borough Council was established in 1874 when the town was made a municipal borough. On the federation of Stoke-on-Trent in 1910, it merged with the five neighbouring towns of Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton and Tunstall and became a county borough.[4] The borough was awarded city status on 5 June 1925, and the council has therefore been a city council since then.[5] In 1928 the city council was granted the right to appoint a lord mayor.

The city lost its county borough status in 1974, becoming a lower-tier district council, with Staffordshire County Council providing county-level functions in the area.[6] The city regained its independence from the county council in 1997 when it was made a unitary authority.[7]

In 2002 the council adopted a new form of executive arrangements, having a directly-elected mayor and a council manager, one of three possible options outlined in the Local Government Act 2000. Stoke was the only council in the country to adopt this option. 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.[8][9] 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).[10]


As a unitary authority, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has the functions of a county council 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.[11] There are no civil parishes in Stoke, which has been an unparished area since the reforms of 1974.[12]

Political control

The council has been under Labour majority control since the 2023 election.[13][14][15]

Political control of the council since 1910 has been held by the following parties:[16][17]

County borough

Party in control Years
Independent 1910–1929
Labour 1929–1931
Independent 1931–1934
Labour 1934–1937
Independent 1937–1945
Labour 1945–1970
No overall control 1970–1971
Labour 1971–1974

Non-metropolitan district

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1997

Unitary authority

Party in control Years
Labour 1997–2002
No overall control 2002–2004
Labour 2004–2006
No overall control 2006–2011
Labour 2011–2015
No overall control 2015–2023
Labour 2023–present


For the ceremonial leader, see List of lord mayors of Stoke-on-Trent.

For the directly-elected mayor which existed from 2002 to 2009, see Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent.

The role of Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent is largely ceremonial. Prior to 2002, political leadership was provided by the leader of the council. From 2002 to 2009, the city council had a directly elected mayor who acted as political leader. Since the abolition of the directly elected mayor position in 2009, leadership has again been provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1974 have been:[18]


Councillor Party From To
Jim Westwood[19] Labour 1974 1976
Arthur Cholerton[20] Labour 1976 1982
Ronald Southern Labour 1982 May 1990
Ted Smith[21] Labour May 1990 1997
Barry Stockley Labour 1997 2002
Geoff Davies Independent May 2002 Oct 2002

Directly-elected mayors

Mayor Party From To
Mike Wolfe Independent 27 Oct 2002 8 May 2005
Mark Meredith Labour 9 May 2005 5 Jun 2009


Councillor Party From To
Ross Irving Conservative 5 Jun 2009 27 May 2010
Mohammed Pervez Labour 27 May 2010 28 May 2015
Dave Conway Independent 28 May 2015 17 May 2018
Ann James Independent 17 May 2018 23 May 2019
Abi Brown Conservative 23 May 2019 25 May 2023
Jane Ashworth Labour 25 May 2023


Following the 2023 election the composition of the council was:[22]

Party Councillors
Labour 29
Conservative 14
City Independents 1
Total 44

The next election is due in 2027.


See also: Stoke-on-Trent City Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2023 the council has comprised 44 councillors representing 34 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[23]


Civic Centre: 1992 building

The council meets and has its headquarters at the Civic Centre on Glebe Street, a complex of buildings which incorporates both the Stoke-upon-Trent Town Hall of 1834 (which contains the council chamber) and a large extension to the north-east built in 1992.[24][25]

One Smithfield, Hanley

The council has additional offices in a modern building at One Smithfield in Hanley. When the new building was commissioned it was envisaged that it would replace the Civic Centre, but whilst the building was being built in 2013 it was decided to retain the Civic Centre after all.[26][27]

In the media

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".[28] In 2014, Private Eye magazine awarded Shotton the "Rotten Boroughs award" for media manipulation.[29]


  1. ^ Price, Richard (25 May 2023). "Majid Khan is Stoke-on-Trent's new Lord Mayor - for second time". Stoke-on-Trent Live. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader unveils cabinet of talent and maturity". Stoke-on-Trent City Council. 25 May 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Board members". NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Stoke on Trent Municipal Borough / County Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  5. ^ "No. 33063". The London Gazette. 3 July 1925. p. 4440.
  6. ^ Local Government Act 1972
  7. ^ "The Staffordshire (City of Stoke-on-Trent) (Structural and Boundary Changes) Order 1995",, The National Archives, SI 1995/1779, retrieved 1 January 2024
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Municipal Elections – Thursday, 5th May, 2011". 6 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  11. ^ Sandford, Mark (22 July 2021). Unitary local government (Report). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  13. ^ "Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader unveils cabinet of talent and maturity". Stoke-on-Trent City Council. 25 May 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  14. ^ Price, Richard (25 May 2023). ""We're going to clean up Stoke-on-Trent" - First big interview with new council leader Jane Ashworth". Stoke-on-Trent Live. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  15. ^ "Meet the nine most powerful Labour politicians now running Stoke-on-Trent City Council". StokeonTrentLive. 25 May 2023. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Elections 2011 - England council elections - Stoke-on-Trent". BBC News Online. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Council minutes". Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  19. ^ "The Queen honours..." Staffordshire Newsletter. 18 June 1976. p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  20. ^ Hughes, Fred. "People who made the Potteries: Arthur Cholerton and Ronald Southern". Stoke-on-Trent Local History. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  21. ^ "'Fit' Ted to lead city council". Staffordshire Sentinel. 9 May 1990. p. 1. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  23. ^ "The Stoke-on-Trent (Electoral Changes) Order 2022",, The National Archives, SI 2022/665, retrieved 1 January 2024
  24. ^ Historic England. "Jubilee Hall Kings Hall Town Hall (1297959)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Freedom of Information Request: Cost of Civic Centre Stoke". Stoke-on-Trent City Council. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Stoke-on-Trent City Council scraps Civic Centre sale". BBC. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  27. ^ "New £45m Stoke-on-Trent council house not 'satisfactory'". BBC. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  28. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1522, p.20
  29. ^ Private Eye, Issue 1368, 2014.