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South Gloucestershire Council

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South Gloucestershire Council
South Gloucestershire Council logo
Founded1 April 1996
Franklin Owusu-Antwi,
since 15 May 2024[3]
Claire Young[1],
Liberal Democrat
since 24 May 2023
Dave Perry[2]
since 12 December 2018
Seats61 councillors
South Gloucestershire Council composition
Political groups
Administration (37)[1][4]
  Liberal Democrat (20)
  Labour (17)
Opposition (24)[4]
  Conservative (23)
  Independent (1)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023[4]
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BS15 9TR
www.southglos.gov.uk Edit this at Wikidata

South Gloucestershire Council is the local authority of South Gloucestershire, a local government district in the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire, England, covering an area to the north of the city of Bristol. The council is a unitary authority, being a district council which also performs the functions of a county council; it is independent from Gloucestershire County Council. Since 2017 the council has been a member of the West of England Combined Authority.

The council has been under no overall control since 2023, being run by a Liberal Democrat and Labour coalition. It meets at the Civic Centre in Kingswood and also has offices in Yate.


The district of South Gloucestershire and its council were created in 1996. The new district covered the area of two former districts, both of which were abolished at the same time: Kingswood and Northavon. Both had been lower-tier districts within the county of Avon prior to the 1996 reforms, with Avon County Council providing county-level services to the area.[5]

The districts of Kingswood and Northavon and the county of Avon had been created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and so were only in existence for 22 years. The area that would become South Gloucestershire was transferred from Gloucestershire to the new non-metropolitan county of Avon in 1974. Avon was abolished in 1996 and four unitary authorities established to govern the former county. The way the 1996 change was implemented was to create both a non-metropolitan district and non-metropolitan county called South Gloucestershire, covering the combined area of Kingswood and Northavon, but with no separate county council. Instead, the district council also performs the functions that legislation assigns to county councils, making it a unitary authority.[5] At the same time, the new district was transferred for ceremonial purposes back to Gloucestershire, but as a unitary authority the council has always been independent from Gloucestershire County Council.[6][7]


South Gloucestershire Council provides both district-level and county-level functions. Some strategic functions in the area are provided by the West of England Combined Authority; the co-leader of the council sits on the combined authority as South Gloucestershire's representative.[8] The whole district is covered by civil parishes, which form the first tier of local government.[9]

Political control[edit]

The council has been under no overall control since 2023, being led by a Liberal Democrat and Labour coalition.

The first election to the council was held in 1995, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until 1 April 1996 when the new district and its council formally came into being. Political control of the council since 1996 has been as follows:[10]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1996–1999
Liberal Democrats 1999–2003
No overall control 2003–2015
Conservative 2015–2023
No overall control 2023–present


Since 2023, the council has been led by Claire Young of the Liberal Democrats, with co-leader Ian Boulton of Labour serving as her deputy.[1]

The leaders of the council since 1999 have been:[11]

Councillor Party From To
Neil Halsall[12] Liberal Democrats 1999 13 Jul 2005
Ruth Davis Liberal Democrats 13 Jul 2005 6 Jun 2007
John Calway Conservative 6 Jun 2007 Aug 2014
Matthew Riddle[13] Conservative 1 Sep 2014 16 May 2018
Toby Savage Conservative 16 May 2018 7 May 2023
Claire Young[1] Liberal Democrats 24 May 2023


Following the 2023 election and a subsequent by-election in May 2024, the composition of the council was:[14]

Party Councillors
Conservative 23
Liberal Democrats 20
Labour 17
Independent 1
Total 61

The next election is due in May 2027.


Since the last boundary changes in 2019, the council has comprised 61 councillors representing 28 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.[15]


Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate

The council generally holds its meetings in the council chamber at the Civic Centre on High Street, Kingswood. When the council was created in 1996 it inherited the Kingswood Civic Centre from Kingswood Borough Council and offices at Castle Street in Thornbury from Northavon District Council. In 2010 the council opened a new office on Badminton Road in Yate, which houses many of the council's administrative functions.[16] The Thornbury building was subsequently closed and redeveloped.[17] In addition to the two main buildings at Kingswood and Yate, the council also has a number of smaller offices and one-stop shops in Yate and Patchway.[18]


The chair of the council is chosen from among the councillors and is usually held by a different councillor each year. They are expected to maintain a politically neutral stance, although they do get an additional casting vote in the event of a tied vote. The chairs have been:[19]

  • 1995–1996: Eddie Gadsby
  • 1996–1997: Les Bishop
  • 1997–1998: Sue Hope
  • 1998–1999: Rudi Springer
  • 1999–2001: Arthur Adams
  • 2001–2002: Alan Bracey
  • 2002–2003: Jeanette Ward
  • 2003–2004: Sue Walker
  • 2004–2005: June Lovell
  • 2005–2006: Alan Lawrance
  • 2006–2007: Jim Cullimore
  • 2007–2008: Sandra O'Neil
  • 2008–2009: Brian Freeguard
  • 2009–2010: Shirley Holloway
  • 2010–2011: Janet Biggin
  • 2011–2012: Mike Drew
  • 2012–2013: Janet Biggin
  • 2013–2014: Ian Boulton
  • 2014–2015: Howard Gawler
  • 2015–2017: Erica Williams
  • 2017–2018: Ian Blair
  • 2018–2019: Rachael Hunt
  • 2019–2020: Brian Allinson
  • 2020–2021: June Bamford
  • 2021–2022: Ruth Davis
  • 2022–2023: Sanjay Shambhu
  • 2023–2024: Mike Drew
  • 2024–2025: Franklin Owusu-Antwi


  1. ^ a b c d Adam Postans (19 May 2023). "Lib Dems and Labour agree coalition to run South Gloucestershire Council". Bristol Live.
  2. ^ "New Chief Executive chosen". South Gloucestershire Newsroom. 12 December 2018. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  3. ^ "New Chair and Vice Chair of South Gloucestershire Council elected". South Gloucestershire Council. 17 May 2024. Retrieved 19 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b c "South Gloucestershire election result". BBC News. May 2023.
  5. ^ a b "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1995/493, retrieved 18 June 2024
  6. ^ "The Local Government Changes for England (Miscellaneous Provision) Regulations 1995", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1995/1748, retrieved 6 March 2024
  7. ^ "Lieutenancies Act 1997". legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. 1997 c. 23. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  8. ^ "Committee papers, 14 June 2024" (PDF). West of England Combined Authority. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  9. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  10. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Council minutes". South Gloucestershire Council. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Council elects new Lib Dem leader". BBC News. 14 July 2005. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Matthew Riddle to become new Leader of South Gloucestershire Council". South Gloucestershire Council. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  14. ^ "South Gloucestershire". Local Councils. Thorncliffe. Retrieved 19 June 2024.
  15. ^ "The South Gloucestershire (Electoral Changes) Order 2018", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2018/534, retrieved 19 June 2024
  16. ^ Womack, Alexandra (12 April 2010). "New South Gloucestershire Council offices are formally opened". Gazette. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Thonbury Civic Centre, Castle Street, Thornbury - Consultation on the future of the property". South Gloucestershire Council. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Find our building locations". South Gloucestershire Council. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Council minutes". South Gloucestershire Council. Retrieved 6 April 2023.

External links[edit]