Wirral Council
Arms of Wirral Council
Coat of arms
Wirral Council logo
Corporate logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Jerry Williams,
Labour
since 17 May 2023[1]
Paul Stuart,
Labour
since 24 May 2023[2]
Paul Satoor
since 2019[3]
Structure
Seats66 councillors[4]
Wirral Council composition
Political groups
  Labour (29)
  Conservative (17)
  Green (14)
  Liberal Democrat (6)
Joint committees
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Length of term
4 years
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
2027
Motto
By Faith and Foresight
Meeting place
Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, CH41 5EU
Website
wirral.gov.uk

Wirral Council (or Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council in full) is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England. Wirral is a metropolitan borough, one of five in Merseyside, and provides the majority of local government services in Wirral. The council is a constituent member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

History

The metropolitan district of Wirral was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It covered the area of five former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[5][6]

The two county boroughs, Birkenhead and Wallasey, had provided all local government services in their areas. The other three districts had been lower-tier authorities with Cheshire County Council providing county-level services. The new Wirral district was awarded borough status from its creation, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor.[7]

Wirral was initially a district-level authority, with Merseyside County Council providing county-level services. However, the metropolitan county councils, including Merseyside County Council, were abolished in 1986 under the Local Government Act 1985. Since 1986 Wirral Council has therefore been responsible for most local government functions.[8]

The council has been a constituent member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority since 2014, which has been led by the directly-elected Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region since 2017.[9]

Political control

The council has been under no overall control since 2019, being led by a Labour minority administration.

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements took effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[10][11]

Party in Control Years
No overall control 1974–1975
Conservative 1975–1986
No overall control 1986–1991
Labour 1991–1992
No overall control 1992–1995
Labour 1995–2002
No overall control 2002–2012
Labour 2012–2019
No overall control 2019–present

Leadership

The role of Mayor of Wirral (also termed the "Civic Mayor" to distinguish it from the Metro Mayor) is largely ceremonial. They represent the borough at civic functions, support local charities and chair council meetings. They are expected to be politically impartial whilst they hold the post, although they do get a casting vote in the event of a tie.[12]

Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1973 have been:[13]

Councillor Image Party From To
Bill Whitehurst Conservative 1973 1974
Malcolm Thornton Conservative 1974 1977
Harry Deverill Conservative 1977 1980
David Fletcher Conservative 1980 1985
John Hale Conservative 1985 Oct 1986
No overall control 1986 1990
Yvonne Nolan Labour 1990 1991
George Clark Labour 1991 1992
No overall control 1992 1995
Dave Jackson Labour 1995 2000
Steve Foulkes Labour 2000 24 May 2010
Jeff Green Conservative 24 May 2010 23 May 2011
Steve Foulkes Labour 23 May 2011 13 Feb 2012
Jeff Green Conservative 13 Feb 2012 21 May 2012
Phil Davies Labour 21 May 2012 5 May 2019
Pat Hackett Labour 14 May 2019 Sep 2020
Janette Williamson[14] Labour 28 Sep 2020 24 May 2023
Paul Stuart[15] Labour 24 May 2023

Composition

Following the 2023 election, the composition of the council was:[16]

Party Councillors
Labour 30
Conservative 17
Green 13
Liberal Democrats 6
Total 66

The next election is due in 2027.

Premises

The council is based at Birkenhead Town Hall, completed in 1887 for the former Birkenhead Borough Council.[17] The council had been based at Wallasey Town Hall until 2023.

Elections

See also: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2004, the council has comprised 66 councillors representing 22 wards, with each ward electing three councillors.[18] The whole council is elected together every four years from 2023 onwards, having previously been elected a third of the council at a time.[19]

Wards and councillors

Each ward is represented by three councillors.[20]

Parliamentary constituency Ward Councillor Party Term of office First elected (re-entered)
Birkenhead Bidston and St James Liz Grey Labour 2023–27 2018
Brian Kenny Labour 2023–27 2006 (2015)
Julie McManus Labour 2023-27 2016
Birkenhead and Tranmere Pat Cleary Green 2023–27 2014
Amanda Onwuemene Green 2023-27 2022
Ewan Tomeny Green 2023-27 2023
Claughton Gillian Wood Labour 2023–27 2017
Steve Foulkes Labour 2023–27 1990
George Davies Labour 2023-27 1988
Oxton Allan Brame Liberal Democrats 2023–27 2018
Mike Redfern Liberal Democrats 2023-27 2023
Stuart Kelly Liberal Democrats 2023-27 1991 (1998, 2016)
Prenton Naomi Graham Green 2023–27 2022
Chris Cooke Green 2023–27 2019
Harry Gorman Green 2023-27 2021
Rock Ferry Craig McDonald Green 2023-27 2023
Paula Basnett Labour 2023-27 2022
Tony Murphy Labour 2023-27 2021
Wallasey Leasowe and Moreton East Angela Davies Labour 2023-27 2015
Paul Jobson Labour 2023-27 2023
Louise Luxon-Kewley Labour 2023-27 2023
Liscard Janette Williamson Labour 2023-27 2012
Daisy Kenny Labour 2023-27 2021
James Laing Labour 2023-27 2021
Moreton West and Saughall Massie Vida Wilson Conservative 2023-27 2022
Gary Bennett Conservative 2023-27 2023
Colin Baldwin Conservative 2023-27 2023
New Brighton Sue Powell-Wilde Labour 2023-27 2022
Paul Martin Labour 2023-27 2021
Tony Jones Labour 2023-27 2016
Seacombe Tom Laing Labour 2023-27 2023
Kaitlin Stuart Labour 2023-27 2023
Paul Stuart Labour 2023-27 2016
Wallasey Lesley Rennie Conservative 2023-27 1991 (1997)
Brenda Hall Labour 2023-27 2007
Ian Lewis Conservative 2023-27 1999 (2008, 2013, 2016)
Wirral South Bebington Judith Grier Green 2023-27 2022
Ed Lamb Green 2023-27 2023
Jason Walsh Green 2023-27 2021
Bromborough Ruth Molyneux Green 2023-27 2023
Kieran Murphy Green 2023-27 2023
Jo Bird Green [n 1] 2023-27 2018
Clatterbridge Mary Jordon Conservative 2023-27 2018
Helen Cameron Conservative 2023-27 2019
Cherry Povall JP Conservative 2023-27 2008
Eastham Chris Carubia Liberal Democrats 2023-27 2014
Helen Raymond Liberal Democrats 2023-27 2023
Phil Gilchrist Liberal Democrats 2023-27 1977 (1992)
Heswall Graham Davies Conservative 2023-27 2023
Andrew Hodson Conservative 2023-27 1994
Kathy Hodson Conservative 2023-27 2013
Wirral West Greasby, Frankby and Irby Gail Jenkinson Green 2023-27 2023
Grahame McManus Labour 2023-27 2023
Mark Skillicorn Labour 2023-27 2023
Hoylake and Meols Tony Cox Conservative 2023-27 2011 (2018)
Max Booth Conservative 2023-27 2023
Andrew Gardner Conservative 2023-27 2018
Pensby and Thingwall Ann Ainsworth Labour 2023-27 2003
Richie Pitt Labour 2023-27 2019
Mike Sullivan Labour 2023-27 2021
Upton Stephen Bennett Labour 2023-27 2022
Jerry Williams Labour 2023-27 2023
Jean Robinson Labour 2023-27 2018
West Kirby and Thurstaston Jeff Green Conservative 2023-27 1986
Jenny Johnson Conservative 2023-27 2019
Simon Mountney Conservative 2023-27 2004 (2021)

Political makeup

Only four parties have won seats to Council: Conservative, Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat (and its predecessors). All other political representation has come via changes in affiliation.

Year Con Green Lab Lib Dem Other Ref
1973 29 0 24 13 0 [23]
1974 29 0 24 13 0
1975 36 0 21 9 0
37 0 21 8 0
1976 42 0 18 6 0
1977 42 0 18 6 0
1978 45 0 16 5 0
1979 40 0 20 6 0
1980 37 0 23 6 0
1981 37 0 23 6 0
1982 35 0 25 6 0
1983 34 0 24 8 0
1984 34 0 24 8 0
1985 34 0 24 8 0
1986 30 0 26 10 0
1987 29 0 27 10 0
1988 24 0 32 10 0
24 0 29 10 3
1989 24 0 29 10 3
1990 23 0 33 7 3
23 0 33 8 2
1991 24 0 34 7 1
1992 29 0 31 6 0
1993 29 0 31 6 0
1994 30 0 30 6 0
28 0 30 8 0
1995 22 0 36 8 0
1996 16 0 41 9 0
1997 16 0 41 9 0
1998 16 0 41 8 1
16 0 42 8 0 [24]
1999 17 0 39 10 0 [23]
2000 20 0 34 12 0
2001 20 0 34 12 0
20 0 33 12 1 [25]
2002 20 0 32 12 2
20 0 31 14 1 [26]
2003 23 0 26 16 1 [27]
2004 21 0 26 19 0 [28]
20 0 26 19 1 [29]
2005 21 0 26 18 1 [30]
2006 21 0 26 19 0 [31]
2007 21 0 25 20 0 [32]
21 0 25 19 1 [33]
20 0 25 19 2 [34]
2008 24 0 21 20 1 [35]
2009 25 0 20 20 1 [36]
2010 27 0 24 15 0 [37]
2011 27 0 29 10 0 [38]
27 0 30 9 0 [39]
2012 22 0 37 7 0 [40]
2013 23 0 36 7 0 [41]
22 0 37 7 0 [42]
22 0 37 6 1 [43]
2014 21 1 38 6 0 [44]
2015 21 1 39 5 0 [45]
2016 21 1 38 5 1 [46]
21 1 39 5 0 [47]
2017 21 1 39 5 0
2018 21 1 39 5 0 [48]
21 1 38 5 1 [49]
21 1 37 5 2 [50]
2019 21 1 36 5 3 [51]
21 1 35 5 4 [52]
21 1 34 5 5 [53]
22 3 32 6 3 [54]
2020 22 2 32 6 4 [55]
2021 23 5 30 6 2 [56]
23 5 29 6 3 [57]
2022 23 5 28 6 4 [58]
23 6 28 6 3 [22]
24 9 26 6 1 [59]
2023 23 9 26 6 2 [60]
23 9 25 6 3 [61]
23 9 24 6 4 [62]
23 9 23 6 5 [63]
17 13 30 6 0 [64]

Party leaders

Year Con Green Lab Lib Dem
1973 Bill Whitehurst Not Represented Bill Wells Gruff Evans
1974
Malcolm Thornton
1977
Harry Deverill Gordon Lindsay
1978
Richard Kimberley
1979
Roy Perkins
1980
David Fletcher Andrew Smith
1983
George Clark
1985
John Hale
1986
Peter Corcoran
1988
Ed Cunniffe
1990
Gordon Lindsay
Yvonne Nolan
1991
George Clark
1992
Dave Jackson
1993
Phil Gilchrist
2000
Steve Foulkes
2001
Stuart Kelly
2002
Jeff Green
2007
Simon Holbrook
2011
Tom Harney
2012
Phil Davies
2013
Phil Gilchrist
2014
Pat Cleary Position
not
established
2017
Ian Lewis
2019
Pat Hackett
2020
Janette Williamson
Jeff Green
2021
Tom Anderson
2023
Jeff Green Jo Bird Paul Stuart

Notes

  1. ^ Expelled from the Labour Party in November 2021.[21] Joined Green Party in March 2022.[22]

References

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  2. ^ "Wirral Council leader deposed by her deputy in dramatic coup". 10 May 2023.
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  4. ^ "Councillors". www.wirral.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
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  7. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Local Government Act 1985", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 18 June 2023
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