Bath and North East Somerset Council

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Bath and North East Somerset Council
Bath & North East Somerset Council logo
Founded1 April 1996
Preceded byAvon County Council
Chair of the Council
Cllr Cherry Beath, Liberal Democrat
since 18 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Tim Warren, Conservative
since 21 May 2015
Chief Executive
Ashley Ayre[1]
since June 2016
Seats65 Councillors[2]
Bath and North East Somerset Council composition
Political groups
     Conservative (36)
Other parties
     Liberal Democrat (17)
     Labour (6)
     Green (1)
     Independent (5)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
7 May 2015
Next election
2 May 2019
Meeting place
Bath Guildhall, Council chamber, toward chair.jpg
Guildhall, Bath

Bath and North East Somerset Council is the local council for the district of Bath and North East Somerset in Somerset, England.

It is a unitary authority, with the powers and functions of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. The council consists of 65 councillors, 32 from Bath, 6 each from the Norton Radstock and Keynsham areas, and 21 others.[3]


Historically part of the county of Somerset, Bath was made a county borough in 1889 so being independent of the newly created administrative Somerset county council, which covered the rest of the area that became Bath and North East Somerset.[4] The area that would become Bath and North East Somerset became part of Avon when that non-metropolitan county was created in 1974. Since the abolition of Avon in 1996, Bath has been the main centre of the district of Bath and North East Somerset, one of the four authorities that replaced Avon County Council and the six district councils of Avon. The authority covers the combined areas of the non-metropolitan districts (that existed 1974 to 1996) of Wansdyke and Bath.[5]

Before the Reform Act of 1832 Bath elected two members to the unreformed House of Commons.[6] Bath now has a single parliamentary constituency, with Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse as Member of Parliament. The rest of the area falls within the North East Somerset constituency.[7] Previously most of the area was in the Wansdyke constituency, which covers the part of Bath and North East Somerset that is not in the Bath constituency. It also contained four wards or parts of wards from South Gloucestershire Council. It was named after the former Wansdyke district.

In 1999 the council housing in the area was transferred to the charitable Somer Community Housing Trust, which was later to become Curo.[8]

Following a successful petition, a referendum was held in 2016 proposing a directly elected mayor for the Bath and North East Somerset district.[9] The proposal was rejected by 78.1% of voters.

Political control[edit]

From the creation of the authority in 1995, no political party had overall control of the council until 2015. The Liberal Democrats quickly became the dominant party, but in the 2007 local elections the Conservative Party won 31 seats becoming the largest party, though they did not have a majority. In the 2015 local elections, the Conservatives won 37 seats gaining overall control of the council, with the Liberal Democrats holding 15 seats and the Labour and Labour Co-operative parties jointly winning 6 seats.

In May 2017 following a recommendation from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, the council resolved to reduce the number of councillors from 65 to 59 for future elections, giving 2,365 electors per councillor.[10]

The number of councillors by party was:

Date Conservative +/- Liberal Democrat +/- Labour +/- Independent Labour +/- Greens +/- Independent +/- Control
1999[11] 16 30 17 2 0 0 NOC
2003[12] 26 +10 29 -1 6 -11 0 -2 - 4 +4 NOC
2007[3] 31 +5 26 -3 6 = - - 3 -1 NOC
2011[13] 29 -3 29 +3 5 -1 - - 2 -1 NOC
2015[14] 37 +8 15 -14 6 +1 - 2 +2 5 +3 Conservative

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Council Departments". Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Your Councillors". Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Local Election – Thursday, 3rd May, 2007". Bath & North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  4. ^ Keane, Patrick. "An English County and Education: Somerset, 1889–1902". The English Historical Review. 88 (347): 286–311. doi:10.1093/ehr/LXXXVIII.CCCXLVII.286.
  5. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". The National Archives. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Parliamentary Constituencies in the unreformed House". United Kingdom Election Results. Archived from the original on 5 November 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Somerset North East: New Boundaries Calculation". Electoral Calculus: General Election Prediction. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  8. ^ HCA Regulatory Judgement on Curo Group (Albion) Limited - LH4336 (PDF) (Report). Homes and Communities Agency. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ Bristol Post Archived 2 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Referendum to go ahead in Banes to decide on elected mayor (7 September 2015)
  10. ^ "Plans to cut number of B&NES councillors by ten per cent gets unanimous backing". Bath Chronicle. 19 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Local Election – Thursday, 6th May, 1999". Bath & North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Local Election – Thursday, 1st May, 2003". Bath & North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Local Election – Thursday, 5th May, 2011". Bath & North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  14. ^ "Bath and North East Somerset Council (All Wards) - Thursday, 7th May, 2015". Bath and North East Somerset. Retrieved 14 May 2015.

External links[edit]