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Manchester City Council

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Manchester City Council
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms
Corporate logo
Paul Andrews,
since 15 May 2024[1]
Bev Craig,
since 1 December 2021[2]
Joanne Roney
since April 2017
Seats96 councillors[3]
Manchester City Council composition
Political groups
Administration (87)
  Labour (87)
Other parties (9)
  Liberal Democrats (4)
  Green (3)
  Workers Party (1)
  Independent (1)
Joint committees
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel
Length of term
4 years
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
7 May 2026
Latin: Concilio Et Labore, lit.'By Wisdom and Effort'
Meeting place
Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA

Manchester City Council is the local authority for the city of Manchester in Greater Manchester, England. Manchester has had an elected local authority since 1838, which has been reformed several times. Since 1974 the council has been a metropolitan borough council. It provides the majority of local government services in the city. The council has been a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority since 2011.

The council has been under Labour majority control since 1971. It is based at Manchester Town Hall.



Manchester had been governed as a borough in the 13th and 14th centuries, but its borough status was not supported by a royal charter. An inquiry in 1359 ruled that it was only a market town, not a borough. It was then governed by manorial courts and the parish vestry until the 18th century.[4]

Old Town Hall, King Street: Completed 1825 for the Police Commissioners, subsequently served as council's headquarters until 1877

In 1792 a body of improvement commissioners known as the 'Manchester Police Commissioners' was established to provide services in the rapidly growing town. In 1838 the town was incorporated as a municipal borough, after which it was governed by a body formally called the 'mayor, aldermen and burgesses of the borough of Manchester', generally known as the corporation or town council. The police commissioners were disbanded in 1843 and their functions passed to the corporation.[5][6]

Manchester was granted city status in 1853, only the second such grant since the Reformation. After that the corporation was also known as the city council.[4] When elected county councils were established in 1889, Manchester was considered large enough to provide its own county-level services, and so it became a county borough, independent from the new Lancashire County Council, whilst remaining part of the geographical county of Lancashire.[6]

The city boundaries have been enlarged many times. Notable expansions were in 1885 (Bradford, Harpurhey and Rusholme), 1890 (Blackley, Crumpsall, part of Droylsden, Kirkmanshulme, Moston, Newton Heath, Openshaw, and West Gorton), 1903 (Heaton), 1904 (Burnage, Chorlton cum Hardy, Didsbury, and Moss Side), 1909 (Gorton, and Levenshulme), 1931 (Wythenshawe: Baguley, Northenden, and Northen Etchells), and Ringway in 1974. The mayor was granted the title of lord mayor in 1893.[7]

The county borough was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, being replaced by a metropolitan district of Manchester, covering the area of the old county borough plus the parish of Ringway. The new district was one of ten metropolitan districts within the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.[8] Manchester's borough and city statuses and its lord mayoralty passed to the new district and its council.[9][10]

In 1980, Manchester was the first council to declare itself a nuclear-free zone. In 1984 it formed an equal opportunities unit as part of its opposition to Section 28.[11]

From 1974 until 1986 the council was a lower-tier authority, with upper-tier functions provided by the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986 and its functions passed to Greater Manchester's ten borough councils, including Manchester City Council, with some services provided through joint committees.[12]

Since 2011 the council has been a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which has been led by the directly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester since 2017. The combined authority provides strategic leadership and co-ordination for certain functions across Greater Manchester, notably regarding transport and town planning, but Manchester City Council continues to be responsible for most local government functions.[13][14]



Manchester City Council provides metropolitan borough services. Some strategic functions in the area are provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority; the leader of the city council sits on the combined authority as Manchester's representative.[15] There is one civil parish in the city at Ringway, with a parish council; the rest of the city is unparished.[16]

Political control


The council has been under Labour majority control since 1971.

Political control of the council since 1919 has been as follows:[17]

County Borough

Party Period
No overall control 1919–1921
Conservative 1921–1924
No overall control 1924–1932
Conservative 1932–1934
No overall control 1934–1946
Labour 1946–1947
No overall control 1947–1949
Conservative 1949–1952
No overall control 1952–1953
Labour 1953–1967
Conservative 1967–1971
Labour 1971–1974

Metropolitan Borough

Party Period
Labour 1974–present



The role of Lord Mayor of Manchester is largely ceremonial. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1945 have been:[18]

County Borough

Councillor Party From To
Tom Nally Labour 1945 1949
William Jackson Conservative 1949 1953
Tom Nally Labour 1953 1956
Bob Thomas Labour 1956 1962
Maurice Pariser Labour 1962 1965
Bob Thomas Labour 1965 1967
Robert Rodgers Conservative 1967 1970
Arnold Fieldhouse Conservative 1970 1971
Bob Thomas Labour 1971 1974

Metropolitan Borough

Councillor Party From To
Norman Morris[19] Labour 1974 1982
Bill Egerton Labour 1982 1984
Graham Stringer Labour 1984 1996
Richard Leese Labour 1996 1 Dec 2021
Bev Craig Labour 1 Dec 2021



Following the 2024 election, the composition of the council was:[20]

Party Councillors
Labour 87
Liberal Democrats 4
Green 3
Workers Party 1
Independent 1
Total 96

The next election is due in May 2026.



Since the last boundary changes in 2018, the council has comprised 96 councillors representing 32 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with a third of the council (one councillor for each ward) elected each time for a four-year term of office.[21]



The council wards are listed under their parliamentary constituency below:

Wards within Manchester City Council
Blackley and Middleton South Gorton and Denton Manchester Central
This constituency also contains
This constituency also contains
This constituency also contains
Manchester Rusholme Manchester Withington Wythenshawe and Sale East
This constituency also contains



Each ward is represented by three councillors.[22]

Parliamentary constituency Ward Councillor Party Term of office
Blackley and
Middleton South
Charlestown Basil Curley Labour 2023–27
Umza Jafri Labour 2024–28
Veronica Kirkpatrick Labour 2022–26
Crumpsall Fiaz Riasat Labour 2023–27
Nasrin Ali Labour 2024–28
Mohammad Amin Labour 2022–26
Harpurhey Pat Karney Labour 2023–27
Joanne Green Labour 2024–28
Sandra Collins Labour 2022–26
Higher Blackley Paula Sadler Labour 2023–27
Julie Connolly Labour 2024–28
Olusegun Ogunnambo Labour 2022–26
Moston Yasmine Dar Labour 2023–27
Sherita Mandongwe Labour 2024–28
Paula Appleby Labour 2022–26
Gorton and Denton
Burnage Azra Ali Labour 2023–27
Bev Craig Labour 2024–28
Murtaza Iqbal Labour 2022–26
Gorton and Abbey Hey Afia Kamal Labour 2023–27
Julie Reid Labour 2024–28
Louis Hughes Labour 2022–26
Levenshulme Basat Sheikh Labour 2023–27
Zahid Hussain Labour 2024–28
Dzidra Noor Labour 2022–26
Longsight Suzanne Richards Labour 2023–27
Shahbaz Sarwar Workers Party 2024–28
Abid Chohan Labour 2022–26
Manchester Central
Ancoats and Beswick Chris Northwood Liberal Democrats 2023–27
Alan Good Liberal Democrats 2024–28
Irene Robinson Labour 2022–26
Cheetham Shazia Butt Labour 2023–27
Shaukat Ali Labour 2024–28
Naeem-Ul Hassam Labour 2022–26
Clayton and Openshaw Sean McHale Labour 2023–27
Donna Ludford Labour 2024–28
Thomas Robinson Labour 2022–26
Deansgate Anthony McCaul Labour Co-op 2023–27
Marcus Johns Labour Co-op 2024–28
Joan Davies Labour 2022–26
Miles Platting and Newton Heath John Flanagan Labour 2023–27
June Hitchin Labour 2024–28
Carmine Grimshaw Labour 2022–26
Piccadilly Sam Wheeler Labour 2023–27
Jon-Connor Lyons Labour 2024–28
Adele Douglas Labour 2022–26
Manchester Rusholme
Ardwick Amna Abdullatif Independent[a] 2023–27
Abdigafar Muse Labour 2024–28
Tina Hewitson Labour 2022–26
Fallowfield Jade Doswell Labour 2023–27
Ghazala Sadiq Labour 2024–28
Ali R. Ilyas Labour 2022–26
Hulme Annette Wright Labour 2023–27
Lee Glover Labour 2024–28
Lee-Ann Igbon Labour 2022–26
Moss Side Mahadi Hussein Sharif Mahamed Labour 2023–27
Esha Mumtaz Labour 2024–28
Erinma Bell Labour 2022–26
Rusholme Ahmed Ali Labour 2023–27
Jill Lovecy Labour 2024–28
Rabnawaz Akbar Labour 2022–26
Whalley Range Angeliki Stogia Labour Co-op 2023–27
Muqaddasah Bano Labour 2024–28
Aftab Razaq Labour 2022–26
Manchester Withington
Chorlton Mathew Benham Labour 2023–27
Tina Kirwin-McGinley Labour 2024–28
John Hacking Labour 2022–26
Chorlton Park Dave Rawson Labour 2023–27
Mandie Shilton-Goodwin Labour Co-op 2024–28
Joanna Midgley Labour 2022–26
Didsbury East Leslie Bell Labour 2024–27[b]
Linda Foley Labour 2024–28
Andrew Simcock Labour 2022–26
Didsbury West Richard Kilpatrick Liberal Democrats 2023–27
Debbie Hilal Labour 2024–28
John Leech Liberal Democrats 2022–26
Old Moat Garry Bridges Labour 2023–27
Gavin White Labour 2024–28
Suzannah Reeves Labour 2022–26
Withington Becky Chambers Labour 2023–27
Chris Wills Labour Co-op 2024–28
Angela Gartside Labour 2022–26
Wythenshawe and
Sale East
Baguley Phil Brickell Labour Co-op 2023–27
Tracy Rawlins Labour Co-op 2024–28
Paul Andrews Labour Co-op 2022–26
Brooklands Glynn Evans Labour 2023–27
Dave Marsh Labour 2024–28
Sue Cooley Labour 2022–26
Northenden Richard Fletcher Labour 2023–27
Sam Lynch Labour 2024–28
Angela Moran Labour 2022–26
Sharston Tim Whiston Labour Co-op 2023–27
Emma Taylor Labour 2024–28
Tommy Judge Labour Co-op 2022–26
Woodhouse Park Anastasia Wiest Green 2023–27
Rob Nunney Green 2024–28
Astrid Johnson Green 2022–26

^a Elected as Labour but resigned from the party in the wake of the Labour leadership's stance on the Israeli invasion of Gaza.[23]

^b Elected during the 2024 election to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of James Wilson, who was elected in 2023.


Town Hall Extension

The council is based at Manchester Town Hall on Albert Square, completed in 1877,[24] and the adjoining Town Hall Extension on the opposite side of Lloyd Street, which was completed in 1938 and is linked to the older building by first floor bridges.[25] The main Town Hall has been under refurbishment since 2020, due to reopen in 2026. The council continues to operate from the Town Hall Extension.[26][27]

Coat of arms

Gules, three bendlets enhanced Or; a chief argent, thereon on waves of the sea a ship under sail proper. On a wreath of colours, a terrestrial globe semée of bees volant, all proper. On the dexter side a heraldic antelope argent, attired, and chain reflexed over the back Or, and on the sinister side a lion guardant Or, murally crowned Gules; each charged on the shoulder with a rose of the last. Motto: "Concilio et Labore".

A coat of arms was granted to the Manchester Corporation in 1842, passing on to Manchester City Council when the borough of Manchester was granted the title of city in 1853.[28]

  • The Shield: red (Gules) with three gold (Or) bands drawn diagonally across to the right hand side.
  • The Chief (the white (Argent) top segment): shows a ship at sea in full sail. This is a reference to the city's trading base.
  • The Crest: On a multicoloured wreath stands a terrestrial globe, signifying Manchester's world trade, and covered by a swarm of flying bees. The bee was adopted in the 19th century as a symbol of industrial Manchester being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
  • The Supporters: On the left, a heraldic antelope with a chain attached to a gold (Or) collar, representing engineering industries, and hanging at the shoulder, the red rose of Lancashire, reflecting Manchester's historic position in Lancashire. On the right, a golden lion stands guardant (facing us), crowned with a red (Gules) castle (a reference to the Roman fort at Castlefield from which the city originated). The lion also wears the Red Rose of Lancashire.
  • Motto: Concilio et Labore, loosely translated "By wisdom and effort" (or "By counsel and hard work").

In 1954, Manchester Corporation successfully took the Manchester Palace of Varieties to court for improperly using the corporation's arms in its internal decoration and its company seal. The case of Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd;[29] was the first sitting of the Court of Chivalry for two hundred years, and it has not sat since.[30]

In April 2013, Manchester City Council threatened to take legal action against The Manchester Gazette, for its use of the city's coat of arms on their website. The News Outlet claimed it already gained permission and continued to use it for a further 8 months in spite of the warnings. Withington MP John Leech described the council's latest move as a "massive over-reaction and waste of money", adding: "Have the council's legal department got nothing better to do?".[31][32]


  1. ^ Sergeant, Emily (16 May 2024). "Manchester welcomes 'proud Mancunian' Paul Andrews as city's new Lord Mayor". The Manc. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 1 December 2021" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 November 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b "Townships: Manchester". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. London: Victoria County History. 1911. pp. 230–251. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Records of the Manchester Police Commissioners". Discovery. The National Archives. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Manchester Municipal Borough / County Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  7. ^ Frangopulo, Nicholas J. (1969). Rich inheritance: a guide to the history of Manchester. Wakefield: S.R. Publishers. pp. 59–72. ISBN 9780854095506. Reprinted by Manchester Education Committee (1962).
  8. ^ "Local Government Act 1972: Schedule 1", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70 (sch. 1), retrieved 30 May 2024
  9. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  10. ^ "No. 46255". The London Gazette. 4 April 1974. p. 4400.
  11. ^ Citations:
  12. ^ "Local Government Act 1985", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 5 April 2024
  13. ^ "The Greater Manchester Combined Authority Order 2011", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2011/908, retrieved 30 May 2024
  14. ^ "Understand how your council works". gov.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  15. ^ "GMCA Members". Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  16. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  17. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Council minutes". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Now Britain awaits budget". Liverpool Echo. 15 May 1979. p. 1. Retrieved 2 September 2022. ...Norman Morris, who has just begun his sixth year as leader of the Labour controlled Manchester city council...
  20. ^ "Local elections 2024: full mayoral and council results for England". The Guardian. 4 May 2024. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  21. ^ "The Manchester (Electoral Changes) Order 2017", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2017/1068, retrieved 31 May 2024
  22. ^ "Your councillors by ward". Manchester City Council. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  23. ^ Abdullatif, Amna (26 October 2023). "I Dedicated My Life to the Labour Party. Keir Starmer's Stance on Gaza Made Me Leave". thenation.com. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  24. ^ Historic England. "Town Hall, Albert Square (Grade I) (1207469)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  25. ^ Historic England. "Town Hall Extension, Lloyd Street (Grade II*) (1197917)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  26. ^ "Location". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  27. ^ Hatmaker, Julia (13 July 2023). "£330m Manchester Town Hall project faces two-year delay, costs rise". Place North West. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  28. ^ Frangopulo, Nicholas J. (1969). Rich inheritance: a guide to the history of Manchester. Wakefield: S.R. Publishers. p. 59. ISBN 9780854095506. p. II (note by W. H. Shercliff) Reprinted by Manchester Education Committee (1962).
  29. ^ Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd, P 133; [1955] 1 All ER 387
  30. ^ Squibb, G. D. (1997) [1959]. The High Court of Chivalry: a study of the civil law in England. Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198251408.
  31. ^ Williams, Jennifer (30 April 2013). "Manchester council threat to sue website over coat of arms". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  32. ^ News Desk (17 October 2013). "New website header". Manchester Gazette. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.

Further reading

  • McKechnie, H. M. (ed.) (1915) Manchester in Nineteen Hundred and Fifteen. Manchester U. P.; "Undertakings of the City Council; Social Amelioration in Manchester; Elementary Education in Manchester; Secondary Schools in Manchester; The Evening School System of Manchester", by E. D. Simon, et al.
  • Manchester City Council. "Concilio et Labore" Series. No. 1-11. (Each pamphlet describes part of the council's work, e.g. no. 4: the City Treasurer.
  • Redford, Arthur (1939) The History of City Government in Manchester; Vol. 2 & 3: Borough and City; The Last Half Century.
  • Simon, Ernest D. (1926) A City Council from Within. London: Longmans, Green
  • Simon, Shena D. (1938) A Century of City Government: Manchester 1838–1938. London: G. Allen & Unwin
  • Tomlinson, H. E. (1943) "The Heraldry of Manchester" in: Bulletin of the John Rylands Library; vol. XXVIII, pp. 207–27