Plymouth City Council

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.

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 also select the executive, commonly referred to as the cabinet. The leader of the council since May 2018 is Tudor Evans of the Labour Party, and the opposition group leader is Ian Bowyer of the Conservative Party.

Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Lord Mayor
Cllr Richard Ball, Conservative
since 18 May 2018
Leader of the Council
Cllr Tudor Evans, Labour
since 3 May 2018
Chief Executive
Tracey Lee
Structure
Seats57 councillors
Plymouth City Council composition
Political groups
Administration
     Labour (31)
Other parties
     Conservative (25)
     Independent (1)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
3 May 2018
Meeting place
The Council House, Plymouth
Website
www.plymouth.gov.uk

History

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 1 April 1974, Plymouth surrendered control of several areas to Devon County Council.

This continued until 1 April 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

City of Plymouth 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] It is also responsible for arranging the elections for local Members of Parliament; in 2017 it was criticised after more than 6,000 votes were not included in the electoral result for one constituency,[4] and hundreds of applications for postal votes were not dealt with by polling day.[5]

Elections

Elections to Plymouth City Council happen once every year in May, for three years out of every four. Elected councillors serve terms of four years. This is because the council is split into thirds, with one third elected each year except the "fallow" 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 2014.

At present, Labour has 31 councillors and the Conservatives have 28.

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 developer, and staff have moved into new accommodation elsewhere in the city. It has retained the adjacent Council House, where it continues to hold its meetings.

Councillors

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. Following elections on 5 May 2016, the councillors for Plymouth were as follows:

Ward Elected 2014 Elected 2015 Elected 2016
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) None
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) None Sam Leaves (Con)
Plympton Erle None 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

References

  1. ^ "Plymouth". www.devon.gov.uk. Devon County Council. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Coat of Arms". www.plymouth.gov.uk. Plymouth City Council. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority".
  4. ^ "Labour MP Luke Pollard's fury as votes left out of result". BBC News. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Number of missing postal ballots in Plymouth rises". BBC News. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
1983 Plymouth City Council election

The 1983 Plymouth City Council election took place on 5 May 1983 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in Devon, England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The Conservative Party retained control of the council, which it had held since its creation in 1973.

1991 Plymouth City Council election

The 1991 Plymouth City Council election took place on 2 May 1991 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in Devon, England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The Labour Party retained control of the council from the Conservative Party, who had held it since its creation in 1973.

1995 Plymouth City Council election

The 1995 Plymouth City Council election took place on 4 May 1995 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in Devon, England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The Labour Party retained control of the council, which it had gained from the Conservative Party at the previous election in 1991.

2000 Plymouth City Council election

The 2000 Plymouth City Council election was held on 4 May 2000 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. This was on the same day as the other local elections. The entire council was up for election and the Conservative Party gained control of the council from the Labour Party.

2003 Plymouth City Council election

The 2003 Plymouth City Council election was held on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. This was on the same day as the other local elections. The election was the first to be contested under new ward boundaries, and as a result the entire council was up for election. The Labour Party regained control of the council, which it had lost to the Conservative Party at the previous election in 2000.

2004 Plymouth City Council election

The 2004 Plymouth City Council election was held on 10 June 2004 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. This was on the same day as the other local elections. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour Party remained in control of the council.

2006 Plymouth City Council election

The 2006 Plymouth City Council election was held on 4 May 2006 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. One third of the council was up for election on the day, with an additional seat in Southway Ward remaining vacant until a by-election on 22 June. After the election, Labour were reduced to 28 out of the 56 filled seats, thus termprarily losing control of the council to No Overall Control. However, Labour won the Southway by-election on 22 June, thus restoring their overall control of the coucil.

2007 Plymouth City Council election

The 2007 Plymouth City Council election was held on 3 May 2007 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative Party gained control of the council from the Labour Party.

2008 Plymouth City Council election

The 2008 Plymouth City Council election was held on 1 May 2008 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative Party remained in control of the council with an increased majority.

2010 Plymouth City Council election

The 2010 Plymouth City Council election was held on 6 May 2010 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England.

The Conservative Party remained in control of the council with a reduced majority.

2011 Plymouth City Council election

The 2011 Plymouth City Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members to Plymouth City Council in England. One third of the council was up for election, in addition to a by-election, making twenty seats in total. The previous election produced a majority for the Conservative Party. The election resulted in Labour gaining 5 seats with Conservatives retaining control.

2012 Plymouth City Council election

The 2012 Plymouth City Council election took place on 3 May 2012 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The election was won by the Labour Party, who gained control of the council from the Conservative Party.

2014 Plymouth City Council election

The 2014 Plymouth City Council election took place on 22 May 2014 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The election was won by the Labour Party, who maintained their overall majority. The UK Independence Party gained representation on the council for the first time, and this was the only election in which the party won seats in Plymouth.

2015 Plymouth City Council election

The 2015 Plymouth City Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England.

The Labour Party lost its narrow majority, resulting in no party having overall control.

2016 Plymouth City Council election

The 2016 Plymouth City Council election took place on 5 May 2016 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. The Conservatives gained one seat from Labour, resulting in both parties having twenty-seven members of the council. A coalition of Conservative and UKIP members took overall control of the Council, having thirty members in total and a working majority.

2018 Plymouth City Council election

The 2018 Plymouth City Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. The election was won by the Labour Party, who gained enough seats to achieve an overall majority and took control of the council.

A coalition of Conservative and UK Independence Party (UKIP) councillors had taken control of the council after the 2016 election, with thirty members in total and a working majority. The three UKIP councillors defected to the Conservative Party in September 2017, giving the Conservatives overall control of the council. The Conservative Party defended twelve seats and Labour defended seven.

2019 Plymouth City Council election

The 2019 Plymouth City Council election is due to take place on 2 May 2019 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England.

The Labour Party took control of the council after the 2018 election, with thirty-one members and a working majority. Labour will defend nine seats, and the Conservatives will defend ten.

Plymouth

Plymouth ( (listen)) is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England, approximately 37 miles (60 km) south-west of Exeter and 190 miles (310 km) west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall.

Plymouth's early history extends to the Bronze Age, when a first settlement emerged at Mount Batten. This settlement continued as a trading post for the Roman Empire, until it was surpassed by the more prosperous village of Sutton founded in the ninth century, now called Plymouth. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War, the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged between 1642 and 1646.

Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, and exporting local minerals (tin, copper, lime, china clay and arsenic). The neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval shipbuilding and dockyard town. In 1914 three neighbouring independent towns, viz., the county borough of Plymouth, the county borough of Devonport, and the urban district of East Stonehouse were merged to form a single County Borough. The combined town took the name of Plymouth which, in 1928, achieved city status. The city's naval importance later led to its being targeted by the German military and partially destroyed by bombing during World War II, an act known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war the city centre was completely rebuilt and subsequent expansion led to the incorporation of Plympton and Plymstock along with other outlying suburbs in 1967.

The city is home to 263,100 (mid-2018 est.) people, making it the 30th-most populous built-up area in the United Kingdom and the second-largest city in the South West, after Bristol. It is governed locally by Plymouth City Council and is represented nationally by three MPs. Plymouth's economy remains strongly influenced by shipbuilding and seafaring including ferry links to Brittany (Roscoff and St Malo) and Spain (Santander), but has tended toward a service-based economy since the 1990s. It has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe, HMNB Devonport, and is home to the University of Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council elections

Plymouth is a unitary authority in Devon, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

Districts
Councils
Local elections
Local authorities in Devon
County council and unitary
District councils

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