Reading Borough Council elections

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Reading Borough Council is the council for the unitary authority of Reading in Berkshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

Political control[edit]

Since the first election to the council in 1973 political control of the council has been held by the following parties:[1]

Non-metropolitan district

Party in control Years
No overall control 1973-1983
Conservative 1983-1986
No overall control 1986-1987
Labour 1987-1998

Unitary authority

Party in control Years
Labour 1998-2008
No overall control 2008-2012
Labour 2012–present


Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council, with the role of mayor being largely ceremonial in Reading. After local government reorganisation in 1974, the leading political role was the chair of the policy committee, which was informally called the leader of the council. The role of leader of the council was made a formal position following the Local Government Act 2000. The leaders of Reading Borough Council since 1974 have been:

Councillor Party From To
Jim Day Liberal 1974[2] 1976
Deryck Morton Conservative 1976 1986
Mike Orton Labour 1986[3] 1995[4]
David Sutton Labour 1995[5] 2008
Jo Lovelock Labour 2008[6] 2010
Andrew Cumpsty Conservative 2010[7] 2011
Jo Lovelock Labour 2011[8] 2019
Jason Brock Labour 2019[9]

Council elections[edit]

Non-metropolitan district elections[edit]

Unitary authority elections[edit]

Borough result maps[edit]

By-election results[edit]

By-elections are listed on the pages of the last council-wide election prior to the by-election, with the exception of the 1977 by-election below which was due to a boundary change and increase in number of councillors rather than needing to fill a vacancy on the council.

Thames by-election April 1977[edit]

On 1 April 1977 the borough was enlarged by the addition of parts of the parishes of Eye and Dunsden, Kidmore End and Mapledurham, all from South Oxfordshire. The number of councillors on Reading Borough Council was increased from 46 to 49 as a result. The two South Oxfordshire district councillors representing much of the transferred area automatically became Reading borough councillors without needing to be re-elected, representing a new ward of Caversham Park. These two were Geoff Lowe and Harold Stoddart, both Liberals (although Lowe later defected to the Conservatives in 1978).[14] Reading's existing Thames and Caversham wards were also enlarged, and the increase in the size of Thames ward justified a fifth councillor being elected for that ward, for which a by-election was held on 21 April 1977, which was won by the Conservatives. After the by-election and two transfers, the balance of the council was 23 Conservatives, 13 Labour and 13 Liberals.[10][15][16]

Thames By-Election 21 April 1977
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brian Fowles 2,619 75.3
Liberal Katherine Gwinnell 485 13.9
Labour Pat Mander 373 10.7
Majority 2,134 61.4
Turnout 3,477 33
Conservative win (new seat)


  1. ^ "Council compositions". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Get ready for heavy rate rise, warns new Liberal committee chief". Evening Post. Reading. 4 October 1973. p. 1. Retrieved 5 April 2022. Liberals took the helm of the new Reading Council's top committee yesterday... Councillor Day was voted policy committee chairman on the new district council...
  3. ^ "Changing chairmen". Reading Evening Post. 22 May 1986. p. 3. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  4. ^ Fort, Linda (24 March 2016). "Whitley councillor Mike Orton to step down after 40 years". Get Reading. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ "New leader for borough". Reading Evening Post. 8 May 1995. p. 3. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Council minutes, 20 May 2008" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Council minutes, 25 May 2010" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Council minutes, 25 May 2011" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  9. ^ Markson, Tevye (10 May 2019). "Council leader Jo Lovelock steps down with Councillor Jason Brock replacing her". Reading Chronicle. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  10. ^ a b - The Berkshire and Oxfordshire (Areas) Order 1977. Retrieved on 18 November 2015.
  11. ^ The Berkshire and Oxfordshire (Areas) (Amendment) Order 1977
  12. ^ The Borough of Reading (Electoral Arrangements) Order 1979
  13. ^ - The Borough of Reading (Electoral Changes) Order 2002. Retrieved on 4 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Tories welcome new council convert". Evening Post. Reading. 4 May 1978. p. 1. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Reading prepared for its 8,000 'migrants'". Evening Post. Reading. 23 March 1977. p. 4. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Tory wins in Thames ward". Evening Post. Reading. 22 April 1977. p. 1. Retrieved 7 April 2022.

External links[edit]