Plymouth City Council

Plymouth City Council
Coat of arms or logo
Leader of the Council
Ian Bowyer
Chief Executive
Tracey Lee
Seats 57
Political groups
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2016
Meeting place
The Council House, Plymouth

Plymouth City Council is the unitary authority for Plymouth, Devon. It has traditionally been controlled by Labour or the Conservatives, with Liberal Democrats rarely winning seats upon the council.

The council is run by the "leader and cabinet" model, where the leader of the council – normally leader of the majority party – is selected by fellow councillors, who in turn select the executive, commonly referred to as the cabinet. The leader of the council is Ian Bowyer since May 2016, of the Conservative Party, and the opposition group leader is Tudor Evans of the Labour Party.


Plymouth was recorded as a borough from 1276 and was incorporated in 1439. In April 1889, as a result of the reform of local government by the Local Government Act 1888, Plymouth became a self-administering county borough. In 1914, the Borough of Plymouth was united with the adjoining boroughs of Devonport and Stonehouse and in 1928, became a city by royal charter.[1] In 1971, a Local Government White Paper was published which would have left Plymouth, a town of 250,000 people, being administered from a council based at Exeter, a smaller city on the other side of Devon. This led to Plymouth lobbying for the creation of a new county of "Tamarside", to include Plymouth, Torpoint, Saltash, and their rural hinterland. This campaign was unsuccessful, and on April 1, 1974, Plymouth surrendered control of several areas to Devon County Council.

This continued until April 1, 1998, when, under the recommendations of the Banham Commission, Plymouth was designated to become a unitary authority, and Plymouth City Council was established.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the City of Plymouth.

The coat of arms of the City of Plymouth show the four towers of the old Plymouth Castle, with the saltire of Saint Andrew, who is the patron of Plymouth's oldest church. The crest is a blue naval crown with a red anchor held in a lion's paw. The crown and anchor were part of the crest of the former County Borough of Devonport and represent the importance of the Royal Navy in the life of the city.[2] The Latin motto, Turris Fortissima est Nomen Jehova, means "The strongest tower is the name of the Lord".

Powers and functions

Plymouth City Council appoints four members to the Devon and Somerset Combined Fire Authority.[3]


Elections to Plymouth City Council happen once every year in May, with one "exception" year every four years, with the result that councillors serve terms of four years. This is because the council is split into thirds, with one third elected each year except the "exception" year.

The council is traditionally dominated by the Labour and Conservative parties, with independents and the Liberal Democrats rarely winning seats. The UK Independence Party gained three seats at the local elections in 2015.

At present, Labour has 27 councillors, the Conservatives have 27 and UKIP have 3.[4]

Lord Mayoralty

Plymouth has had a mayor in some form since 1439, and this tradition continued until 1934, when the king granted Plymouth the honour of having a Lord Mayor.

The role of the Lord Mayor is largely ceremonial, and has evolved into a figurehead position which is the public, non-political image of Plymouth City Council. The Lord Mayor chairs council meetings in the Council Chamber. The position usually rotates between the Conservatives and Labour, and is chosen on the third Friday of May. He then chooses the Deputy Lord Mayor.

The Lord Mayor's official residence is 3 Elliot Terrace, located on the Hoe. Once a home of Waldorf and Nancy Astor, it was given by Lady Astor to the City of Plymouth as an official residence for future Lord Mayors and is also used today for civic hospitality, as lodgings for visiting dignitaries and High Court judges and it is also available to hire for private events. The Civic Centre municipal office building in Armada Way became a listed building in June 2007 because of its quality and period features. The Council has sold the building to a private developersand staff have moved into new accommodation elsewhere in the city. It has retained the adjacent Council House, where it continues to hold its meetings.


Elected members of the council hold office for four years and are elected "by thirds", meaning that most of the council's electoral areas have three councillors each and elections for one councillor per area are held in three years out of four. If an area has only two councillors, elections are held in two years out of four. As of 5 May 2016, the councillors for Plymouth were as follows:

Ward Councillor Councillor Councillor
Budshead David Downie (Con)* Jonathan Drean (Con) Jon Taylor (Lab)
Compton Ted Fry (Con) David Fletcher (Con) Richard Ball (Con)
Devonport Bill Stevens (Lab) Mark Coker (Lab) Kate Taylor (Lab)
Drake Steven Ricketts (Con) Chaz Singh (Lab) N/A
Efford and Lipson Neil Hendy (Lab) Pauline Murphy (Lab) Lord Mayor Brian Vincent (Lab)
Eggbuckland Ian Bowyer (Con)** Lynda Bowyer (Con)* Heath Cook (Con)
Ham Christopher Storer (UKIP) Tudor Evans (Lab)*** Tina Tuohy (Lab)
Honicknowle John Riley (UKIP)* Mark Lowry (Lab) Peter Smith (Lab)
Moor View Maddie Bridgeman (UKIP) Nick Kelly (Con) Christoper Mavin (Lab)
Peverell Martin Leaves (Con) Dr. John Mahony (Con) Tony Carson (Con)
Plympton Chaddlewood Glenn Jordan (Con)* N/A Sam Leaves (Con)
Plympton Erle N/A Terri Beer (Con)* Ian Darcy (Con)*
Plympton St. Mary David James (Con) Patrick Nicholson (Con)* Andrea Loveridge(Con)
Plymstock Dunstone Vivien Pengelly (Con) Nigel Churchill (Con) Kevin Wigens (Con)
Plymstock Radford Wendy Foster (Con) Ken Foster (Con) Michael Leaves (Con)*
Southway Mark Deacon (Con) Jonny Morris (Lab) Lorraine Parker (Lab)
St. Budeaux Sally Bowie (Lab) George Wheeler (Lab) Darren Winter (Lab)
St. Peter and the Waterfront Susan McDonald (Lab) Chris Penberthy (Lab) Ian Tuffin (Lab)
Stoke Michael Sparling (Lab) Philippa Davey (Lab) Sam Davey (Lab)
Sutton and Mount Gould Mary Aspinall (Lab) Sue Dann (Lab) Eddie Rennie (Lab)

* Denotes Cabinet member ** Denotes Leader of the Council *** Denotes Leader of the Opposition


  1. "Plymouth". Devon County Council. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. "Coat of Arms". Plymouth City Council. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  3. "Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority".
  4. Plymouth City Council
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.