Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council is the local authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. Manchester is the sixth largest city in England by population.[4] Its city council is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Bev Craig. The official opposition is the Green Party with three councillors. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.

Manchester City Council
Lord Mayor
Donna Ludford,
since 18 May 2022[1]
Bev Craig,
since 1 December 2021[2]
Chief executive
Joanne Roney
since April 2017
Seats96 councillors[3]
Political groups
Administration (91)
  Labour (91)
Opposition (3)
  Green (3)
Other (2)
  Liberal Democrats (2)
Joint committees
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel
Length of term
4 years
Last election
2022 (32 councillors)
Next election
Meeting place
Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester


Manchester was incorporated in 1838 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 as the Corporation of Manchester or Manchester Corporation. It achieved city status in 1853, only the second such grant since the Reformation. The area included in the city has been increased many times, 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. A new Town Hall was opened in 1877 (by Alderman Abel Heywood) and the Mayor of Manchester was granted the title of Lord Mayor in 1893.[5]

Under the Local Government Act 1972 the council was reconstituted as a metropolitan borough council in 1974, and since then it has been controlled by the Labour Party. 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.[6]

Political make-up

Elections are usually by thirds (a third of the seats elected, three years in every four), although the 2018 and 2004 elections saw all seats contested due to substantial boundary changes. Labour has controlled a majority of seats in every election since the council was reconstituted in 1974. Between 2014 and 2016 Labour occupied every seat with no opposition.[7] In the local elections held on 5 May 2016, former Manchester Withington MP, John Leech, was elected with 53% of the vote signifying the first gain for any party other than Labour for the first time in six years in Manchester and providing an opposition for the first time in two years.[8] On 7 March 2017, it was reported that City Centre councillor Kevin Peel had been suspended from the Manchester Labour group after reports of bullying. He sat as an independent, still taking the Labour Group whip until he rejoined Labour.[9] On 24 July 2019 it was reported that Majid Dar (Ancoats and Beswick) had been suspended by the Labour party.[10]

Year Labour Liberal Democrats Green Conservative Independent
Current 91 2 3 0 0
2022 92 2 2 0 0
2021 94 1 1 0 0
2019 93 3 0 0 0
2018 94 2 0 0 0
2016 95 1 0 0 0
2015 96 0 0 0 0
2014 96 0 0 0 0
2012 86 9 0 0 1
2011 75 20 0 0 1
2010 62 31 0 1 2
2008 61 34 0 1 0
2007 61 34 1 0 0
2006 62 33 1 0 0
2004 57 38 1 0 0
2003 71 27 1 0 0
2002 76 22 0 0 1
2000 78 21 0 0 0
1999 82 17 0 0 0
1998 84 15 0 0 0
1996 84 15 0 0 0
1995 83 14 0 2 0
1994 79 15 0 4 1
1992 80 12 0 2 2
1991 85 9 0 5 0
1990 78 9 0 12 0
1987 77 9 0 13 0

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.[11]

  • 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;[12] was the first sitting of the Court of Chivalry for two hundred years, and it has not sat since.[13]

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?"[14][15]


On 14 April 2010, the BBC reported that council leader Richard Leese had stood down temporarily from his post as leader of Manchester City Council after having been arrested on suspicion of the common assault of his 16-year-old stepdaughter. He was released after accepting a police caution and admitting striking his stepdaughter across the face.[16][17]

On 7 March 2017, it was reported that City Centre councillor Kevin Peel had been suspended from the Manchester Labour group after reports of bullying. He sat as an independent, still taking the Labour Group whip until he rejoined Labour.[18] He did not stand in the following election.[19]

On 12 February 2019, an 'enormous political row' [20] erupted after Manchester Council announced it was consulting the public on a new Public Spare Protection Order which, among other things, targeted 'aggressive' begging and rough sleepers who pitch tents or sleep in doorways.[21] The council's opposition leader, and former Lib Dem MP John Leech sparked further controversy when he tweeted that the potential council policy which was still out for public consultation was "absolute crap".[22]

On 8 March 2019, at a routine council budget meeting, a row erupted before proceedings began.[23] The argument was prompted by a sign put up by Labour above the Lord Mayor's chair at the front of the council chamber, reading '10 Years of Tory And Lib Dem Cuts'. When Leech, the Lib Dem leader, entered the chamber, he took down the message – prompting senior Labour councillor Pat Karney to 'thunder' across the chamber.[24] He began 'screaming' and 'shouting' at Leech, and told him to hand over the laminated A4 pieces of paper at least 11 times.[25]

On 15 April 2019, The Times uncovered a number of offensive tweets from Fallowfield Labour councillor Jade Doswell.[26] Doswell had tweeted that she was a "little bit sick in my mouth" at the sight of an Israeli flag and claimed the flag was 'offensive' and provocative’.[27] She apologised on a private Facebook post.[28]

On 25 July 2019, it was reported that Majid Dar had shared Facebook comparing justifications made by the Nazis for the slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust with those made by Israel's army for its actions in Gaza. Another post stated that Zionism 'keeps changing direction like a snake', whilst replies to one of his other comments included 'Kill all the Jews PERIOD' and 'Israel needs to stop existing'.[29][30]

On 18 March 2020, Greg Stanton stood down from the Liberal Democrats to sit as an Independent councillor. Although Stanton cited his reasons for leaving as "because I could no longer support [John Leech's] leadership", the Liberal Democrats told the Manchester Evening News that Stanton was under "investigation for unacceptable and obstructive behaviour". Stanton stated that the statement was "misleading".[31]

On 20 March 2020, The Manchester Evening News ran an article on Independent councillor Kenneth Dobson (who represents Clayton and Openshaw), after he spread conspiracy theories suggesting that the outbreak of COVID-19 was faked. A series of tweets labelling COVID-19 a 'bogus virus' and a 'load of bol**x' were posted on his Twitter page, alongside images posted describing the pandemic as 'propaganda' and conflating the spread of the virus with the rollout of 5G wireless networks.[32]

On 22 June 2020, Manchester Council's executive member for Finance and Human Resources was suspended by the Labour group, after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him on Twitter.[33][34]


The council wards are listed under their parliamentary constituency below.

Wards within Manchester City Council
Blackley and BroughtonManchester GortonWythenshawe and Sale East
  1. Higher Blackley
  2. Crumpsall
  3. Charlestown
  4. Cheetham
  5. Harpurhey
    • This constituency also contains
    Broughton and Kersal in
    neighbouring Salford City Council.
  1. Northenden
  2. Brooklands (Manchester)
  3. Baguley
  4. Sharston
  5. Woodhouse Park
    • This constituency also contains
    Brooklands (Trafford), Priory
    and Sale Moor in neighbouring
    Trafford Council.
Manchester CentralManchester Withington
  1. Moston
  2. Miles Platting & Newton Heath
  3. Deansgate
  4. Piccadilly
  5. Ancoats and Beswick
  6. Clayton and Openshaw
  7. Hulme
  8. Ardwick
  9. Moss Side
  1. Chorlton
  2. Chorlton Park
  3. Old Moat
  4. Withington
  5. Burnage
  6. Didsbury West
  7. Didsbury East


Each ward is represented by three councillors.[35]

Parliamentary constituency Ward Councillor Party Term of office
Blackley and Broughton
Charlestown Basil Curley Labour 2019–23
Hannah Priest Labour 2021–24
Veronica Kirkpatrick Labour 2022–26
Cheetham Shazia Butt Labour 2019–23
Shaukat Ali Labour 2021–24
Naeem-Ul Hassam Labour 2022–26
Crumpsall Fiaz Riasat Labour 2019–23
Nasrin Ali Labour 2021–24
Mohammad Amin Labour 2022–26
Harpurhey Pat Karney Labour 2019–23
Joanne Green Labour 2021–24
Sandra Collins Labour 2022–26
Higher Blackley Paula Sadler Labour 2019–23
Shelley Lanchbury Labour 2021–24
Olusegun Ogunnambo Labour 2022–26
Manchester Central
Ancoats and Beswick Mohammed Majid Dar Labour 2019–23
Alan Good Liberal Democrats 2022–24
Irene Robinson Labour 2022–26
Ardwick Amna Abdullatif Labour 2019–23
Bernard Priest Labour 2021–24
Tina Hewitson Labour 2022–26
Clayton and Openshaw Sean McHale Labour 2019–23
Donna Ludford Labour 2021–24
Thomas Robinson Labour 2022–26
Deansgate William Jeavons Labour 2019–23
Marcus Johns Labour Co-op 2021–24
Joan Davies Labour 2022–26
Hulme Annette Wright Labour 2019–23
Ekua Bayunu Green[a] 2021–24
Lee-Ann Igbon Labour 2022–26
Miles Platting and Newton Heath John Flanagan Labour 2019–23
June Hitchin Labour 2021–24
Carmine Grimshaw Labour 2022–26
Moss Side Mahadi Hussein Sharif Mahamed Labour 2019–23
Emily Rowles Labour 2021–24
Erinma Bell Labour 2022–26
Moston Yasmine Dar Labour 2019–23
Julie Connolly Labour 2021–24
Paula Appleby Labour 2022–26
Piccadilly Sam Wheeler Labour 2019–23
Jon-Connor Lyons Labour 2021–24
Adele Douglas Labour 2022–26
Manchester Gorton
Fallowfield Jade Doswell Labour 2019–23
Zahra Alijah Labour 2021–24
Ali R. Ilyas Labour 2022–26
Gorton and Abbey Hey Afia Kamal Labour 2019–23
Julie Reid Labour 2021–24
Louis Hughes Labour 2022–26
Levenshulme Basat Sheikh Labour 2019–23
Zahid Hussain Labour 2021–24
Dzidra Noor Labour 2022–26
Longsight Suzanne Richards Labour 2019–23
Luthfur Rahman Labour 2021–24
Abid Chohan Labour 2022–26
Rusholme Ahmed Ali Labour 2019–23
Jill Lovecy Labour 2021–24
Rabnawaz Akbar Labour 2022–26
Whalley Range Angeliki Stogia Labour Co-op 2019–23
Muqaddasah Bano Labour 2021–24
Aftab Razaq Labour 2022–26
Manchester Withington
Burnage Azra Ali Labour 2019–23
Bev Craig Labour 2021–24
Murtaza Iqbal Labour 2022–26
Chorlton Mathew Benham Labour 2021–23
Eve Holt Labour 2021–24
John Hacking Labour 2022–26
Chorlton Park Dave Rawson Labour 2019–23
Mandie Shilton-Goodwin Labour 2021–24
Joanna Midgley Labour 2022–26
Didsbury East James Wilson Labour Co-op 2019–23
Linda Foley Labour 2021–24
Andrew Simcock Labour 2022–26
Didsbury West Greg Stanton Labour[b] 2019–23
Debbie Hilal Labour 2021–24
John Leech Liberal Democrats 2022–26
Old Moat Garry Bridges Labour 2019–23
Gavin White Labour 2021–24
Suzannah Reeves Labour 2022–26
Withington Becky Chambers Labour 2019–23
Chris Wills Labour Co-op 2021–24
Angela Gartside Labour 2022–26
Wythenshawe and Sale East
Baguley Luke Raikes Labour 2019–23
Tracy Rawlins Labour Co-op 2021–24
Paul Andrews Labour Co-op 2022–26
Brooklands Glynn Evans Labour 2021–23
Julia Baker-Smith Labour 2021–24
Sue Cooley Labour 2022–26
Northenden Sarah Russell Labour 2019–23
Sam Lynch Labour 2021–24
Angela Moran Labour 2022–26
Sharston Tim Whiston Labour Co-op 2019–23
Emma Taylor Labour 2021–24
Tommy Judge Labour Co-op 2022–26
Woodhouse Park Edward Newman Labour 2019–23
Rob Nunney Green 2021–24
Astrid Johnson Green 2022–26

^a Elected as Labour but joined the Green party in July 2022[36]

^b Elected as a Liberal Democrat but joined Labour in April 2020[37]


  1. "Council minutes, 18 May 2022" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  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. "Manchester Population 2021 – UK Population Data". Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  5. 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).
  6. Citations:
  7. Staff writer (8 May 2015). "Election 2015: Labour gains total control of Manchester City Council". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  8. Fitzgerald, Todd (6 May 2016). "Manchester local election results 2016: John Leech ends Labour's total grip on the town hall". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  9. Staff writer (7 March 2017). "Councillor kevin Peel suspended from Manchester Council's Labour group". Manchester Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  10. Williams, Jennifer (24 July 2019). "Manchester councillor suspended amid anti-semitism investigation". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. 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).
  12. Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd, P 133; [1955] 1 All ER 387
  13. 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.
  14. Williams, Jennifer (30 April 2013). "Manchester council threat to sue website over coat of arms". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  15. News Desk (17 October 2013). "New website header". Manchester Gazette. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  16. "Manchester City Council leader steps down after assault". BBC News. 14 April 2010.
  17. Carter, Helen (14 April 2010). "Manchester council leader Richard Leese cautioned over stepdaughter assault". The Guardian. London.
  18. "Councillor Kevin Peel suspended from Manchester Labour Group – WriteYou – the Social Newspaper". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  19. "We need to talk about Kevin (Peel). | Shamballa By Sara". (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  20. "Manchester launches Housing First scheme as rough sleeping row erupts". The Big Issue. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  21. Williams, Jennifer (12 February 2019). "'Aggressive' begging and public urination could soon be punished with £100 fines". men. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  22. Leech, John (12 February 2019). "I want to be absolutely crystal clear; Liberal Democrat councillors in Manchester will oppose this crap until the end of time". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  23. Williams, Jennifer (8 March 2019). "Manchester council meeting kicks off with blazing row over 'Lib Dem cuts' poster". men. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  24. "Jennifer Williams (@JenWilliamsMEN) – Twitter". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  25. Barlow, Nigel (8 March 2019). "Karnage at the council budget meeting". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  26. Henry Zeffman, Kate Devlin (15 April 2019). "Labour antisemitism: Israeli flag made party candidate 'feel sick'". Retrieved 19 April 2019 via
  27. Reporter, Jewish News. "Labour candidate 'sorry' for saying sight of Israeli flag made her 'feel sick'". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  28. "Labour candidate Jade Doswell apologises for saying Israeli flag made her feel 'sick'". 15 April 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  29. "Labour councillor suspended in anti-Semitism investigation". BBC News. 25 July 2019.
  30. Williams, Jennifer (24 July 2019). "Manchester councillor suspended amid anti-semitism investigation". Manchester Evening News.
  31. Griffiths, Niall (26 March 2020). "City councillor quits Lib Dems after 'unacceptable' behaviour". Manchester Evening News.
  32. Griffiths, Niall (20 March 2020). "Politicians' warning about 'irresponsible disinformation' about coronavirus". Manchester Evening News.
  33. Williams, Jennifer (22 June 2020). "Manchester councillor suspended by Labour group over social media allegations". Manchester Evening News.
  34. "Tweet". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  35. "All councillors". Manchester City Council. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  36. "We're delighted to announce that Hulme councillor @Ekua4Hulme has joined us from the Labour Party!". Manchester Green Party. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  37. "Former Lib Dem Councillor Greg Stanton Joins Labour". Manchester Gazette. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2021.

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
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