Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974. It is the most populated local council in the United Kingdom (excluding counties) with, following a reorganisation of boundaries in June 2004, 120 Birmingham City councillors representing over one million people, in 40 wards. This means that Birmingham is technically the largest city in the United Kingdom. The council headquarters are at the Council House in the city centre. The council is responsible for running nearly all local services, with the exception of those run by joint boards. The provision of certain services has in recent years been devolved to several council constituencies, which each have a constituency committee made up of councillors from that district.
Birmingham City Council
Council logo post-2016
|Founded||1 April 1974|
Cllr Mohammed Azim, Labour
since 21 May 2019
Leader of the council
Cllr Ian Ward, Labour
since 11 September 2017
since 3 April 2018
|West Midlands Combined Authority|
|Council House, Birmingham|
The original Charter of Incorporation, dated 31 October 1838, was received in Birmingham on 1 November, then read in the Town Hall on 5 November with elections for the first Town Council being held on 26 December. Sixteen Aldermen and 48 Councillors were elected and the Borough was divided into 13 wards. William Scholefield became the first Mayor and William Redfern was appointed as Town Clerk.
It was not until 14 January 1889 that another Charter conferred the rank of City on Birmingham. On 9 November 1891, the districts of Balsall Heath, Harborne, Saltley and Little Bromwich were absorbed into the City. The dignity of a Lord Mayor was conferred in 1896 and Sir James Smith Kt was appointed as the City's first Lord Mayor on 3 June 1896. The parish of Quinton became part of Birmingham on 9 November 1909 and two years later, under what was termed 'The Greater Birmingham Scheme', the Boroughs of Aston Manor, the Urban District of Handsworth and of Erdington, part of the Urban District of Kings Norton and Northfield and the Rural District of Yardley were all incorporated. Such was the expansion involved that the Council Chamber, originally designed to accommodate 80 members, had to be modified to seat the representatives of the new wards. Further additions occurred on 1 April 1928 (part of the Urban District of Perry Barr) and 1 April 1931 (parts of the Parishes of Solihull, Castle Bromwich, Minworth and Sheldon). By 1972, there were 39 Wards each represented by an Alderman and 3 Councillors, a total of 156 Members.
A major national re-organisation of local government was implemented in 1974 and saw the City of Birmingham being combined with the Borough of Sutton Coldfield to form the new Birmingham District Council consisting of 42 Wards each with 3 elected Councillors (in 1982 the number of Wards was reduced to 39). On 1 July 1986, the title was changed to Birmingham City Council. Part of Bromsgrove District known as Frankley and Kitwell Estates were added to the City on 1 April 1995. A review of the Ward boundaries on 10 June 2004 resulted in an increase from 39 Wards to 40 Wards.
The first woman elected to the council, on 1 November 1911, was Ellen Pinsent. She represented the Edgbaston Ward as a Liberal Unionist. She had earlier been co-opted as a member of the council's Education Committee and served as Chairman of the Special School Sub-Committee. She stood down from the council in October 1913 upon appointment as Commissioner for the Board of Control for Lunacy and Mental Deficiency.
Birmingham's third woman councillor, Clara Martineau, was elected on 14 October 1913 in the Edgbaston ward, and served until 1932, when she died, aged 57. Her father was former Mayor Sir Thomas Martineau, Lord Mayor Ernest Martineau was her brother, and Alderman Sir George Kenrick was her uncle.
Mary E. Cottrell became the first female Labour councillor in February 1917, when she was elected unopposed to the Selly Oak ward.
The first female Lord Mayor, Marjorie Brown, held the post from 1973 to 1974. Theresa Stewart became the first female leader in October 1993, until 1999; and Lin Homer the first chief executive, was in post from 2002 until 2005.
The council was run by a Labour administration between 1984 and 2004, with Sir Dick Knowles as Council Leader from 1984 to 1993, followed in turn by Theresa Stewart, and Sir Albert Bore. They lost overall control in 2003 but continued to run the council as a minority administration for the following year. At the election of 10 June 2004, the 121 seats were divided between the Labour, (53 councillors), Conservative (39) and Liberal Democrat (28) parties. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups then formed a governing coalition, moving Labour into opposition.
In 2005, Richard Mawrey QC (as an election commissioner) ruled invalid Birmingham City Council elections in two wards, Aston and Bordesley Green, held the year before, and required re-votes. He blamed most of the electoral fraud on absentee ballot manipulation, and implicated the returning officer and six Labour councillors. By-elections and defections in 2005 altered the distribution of seats within the council with Labour holding 46 seats, Conservatives holding 40, Liberal Democrats holding 30, the People's Justice Party holding 2 and independent councillors holding a further 2.
In 2006, the People's Justice Party disbanded, with their two councillors joining the Liberal Democrats, and Councillor Ann Holtom defected from Labour to the Liberal Democrats. In the 2006 local elections the British National Party initially gained a seat, but it soon transpired their candidate's election had been caused by a counting error and the result was subsequently overturned in favour of the previously third-placed Labour party candidate following an election petition.
After the local elections on 1 May 2008, there remained no overall control, with the 120 seats divided between Conservative (49 councillors), Labour, (36), Liberal Democrat (32) and Respect (3). After the 2010 elections the seats were divided between Conservative (45 councillors), Labour, (41), Liberal Democrat (31) and Respect (3). The Conservatives' main local strongholds are in the Sutton Coldfield and Edgbaston constituencies. In the local elections on 5 May 2011, Labour won an extra 14 seats on the council but there continued to be no overall control, with the seats divided between Conservative (39 councillors), Labour, (55), Liberal Democrat (24) and Respect (3).
Labour regained overall control in May 2012. Following the 2018 council election, Labour has continued to hold control of the council.
|Total number of seats||101|
Wards and Councillors
Each ward is represented by either one or two councillors.
|Acocks Green||Roger Harmer||Liberal Democrats||1995-2001, 2008-2012, 2014-|
|Allens Cross||Eddie Freeman||Conservative||2008-2012, 2018-|
|Alum Rock||Mohammed Idrees||Labour||2002-|
|Balsall Heath West||Zhor Malik||Labour||2018-|
|Bartley Green||Bruce Lines||Conservative||2003-|
|Bordesley and Highgate||Yvonne Mosquito||Labour||1996-|
|Bordesley Green||Chauhdry Rashid||Labour||1987-1999, 2004-|
|Bournbrook and Selly Park||Brigid Jones||Labour||2011-|
|Bournville and Cotteridge||Liz Clements||Labour||2017-|
|Brandwood & King's Heath||Mike Leddy||Labour||1995-2003, 2007-|
|Bromford and Hodge Hill||Diane Donaldson||Labour||2016-|
|Castle Vale||Suzanne Webb||Conservative||2018-|
|Druids Heath and Monyhull||Julien Pritchard||Green||2018-|
|Matt Bennett||Conservative||2008-2012, 2015-|
|Frankley Great Park||Simon Morrall||Conservative||2018-|
|Garretts Green||Saddak Miah||Labour||2018-|
|Glebe Farm and Tile Cross||Marj Bridle||Labour||1986-|
|John Cotton||Labour||1999-2008, 2010-|
|Gravelly Hill||Mick Brown||Labour||2012-|
|Hall Green North||Akhlaq Ahmed||Labour Co-op||2018-|
|Hall Green South||Timothy Huxtable||Conservative||2002-|
|Handsworth Wood||Gurdial Singh Atwal||Labour||2004-|
|Narinder Kaur Kooner||Labour||2006-|
|Highter's Heath||Adam Higgs||Conservative||2018-|
|King's Norton North||Alex Aitken||Labour||2018-|
|King's Norton South||Peter Griffiths||Labour||2011-|
|Kath Hartley||Labour||1996-2000, 2002-|
|Longbridge and West Heath||Debbie Clancy||Conservative||2015-|
|North Edgbaston||Carl Rice||Labour||1987-|
|Perry Barr||Jon Hunt||Liberal Democrats||2003|
|Morriam Jan||Liberal Democrats||2017-|
|Perry Commmon||Bob Beauchamp||Conservative||2008-|
|Pype Hayes||Mike Sharpe||Labour||1988-1992, 2001-|
|John Clancy||Labour||2002-2006, 2011-|
|Rubery and Rednal||Adrian Delaney||Conservative||2004-2015, 2018-|
|Shard End||Ian Ward||Labour||1995-|
|Sheldon||Paul Tilsley||Liberal Democrats||1968-1982, 1988-|
|Mike Ward||Liberal Democrats||1991-|
|Small Heath||Safia Akhtar||Labour||2018-|
|Soho and Jewellery Quarter||Chaman Lal||Labour||1994-|
|South Yardley||Zaker Choudhry||Liberal Democrats||2006-2010, 2014-|
|Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East||Mohammed Azim||Labour||2004-2006, 2012-|
|Mohammed Fazal||Labour||1987-1995, 2002-|
|Stockland Green||Penny Holbrook||Labour||2003-2008, 2010-|
|Sutton Four Oaks||Maureen Cornish||Conservative||2007-|
|Sutton Mere Green||Meirion Jenkins||Conservative||2012-|
|Sutton Reddicap||Charlotte Hodivala||Conservative||2018-|
|Sutton Roughley||Ewan Mackey||Conservative||2014-|
|Sutton Trinity||David Pears||Conservative||1987-1991, 1992-1996, 2004-|
|Sutton Vesey||Rob Pocock||Labour||2012-|
|Sutton Warmley and Minworth||David Barrie||Conservative||2009-|
|Ken Wood||Conservative||2008-2012, 2014-|
|Sutton Wylde Green||Alex Yip||Conservative||2015-|
|Tyseley and Hay Mills||Zafar Iqbal||Labour||2012-|
|Ward End||Mohammed Aikhlaq||Labour||2010-|
|Weoley and Selly Oak||Tristan Chatfield||Labour||2012-|
|Yardley East||Neil Eustace||Liberal Democrats||1986-|
|Yardley West and Stechford||Baber Baz||Liberal Democrats||2018-|
From 5 April 2004, responsibility and budgets for a number of services were devolved to 11 district committees, as part of a growing trend in the UK to use area committees for large councils. From 1 June 2006 the districts were reduced from 11 to 10 to correspond with the revised Westminster constituency boundaries, and renamed "council constituencies". Each now comprises four wards. The council constituencies are: As of 2018 these districts no longer serve as a devolved function.
Past chief executives have included:
Services and facilities
Notable services provided and facilities managed by Birmingham City Council include:
- Library of Birmingham
- Public Library and Baths, Balsall Heath
- Birmingham Wholesale Markets
- Council House
- Hall of Memory
Service Birmingham, set up in 2006, is a joint IT venture operated by Birmingham City Council and Capita under which Capita runs the city's ICT systems and council tax collection services and formerly ran its call centre. The Council and Capita have agreed to end the joint venture by March 2018.
- "Birmingham City Council: Wards". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "Birmingham City Council: Constituencies". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "History of the Council". Birmingham.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Roberts, Sian (4 March 2015). "'My whole time is given to the service of my fellow citizens' – the first women elected to Birmingham City Council". Library of Birmingham. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- "Women's Local Government Society". Women's Local Government Society. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Walker, Jonathan (27 July 2006). "BNP never won seat on city council". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Birmingham City Council election service Birmingham.gov.uk
- Robinson, Nick (4 May 2012). "Labour are back throughout country, says Ed Miliband". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Current State of the Parties". www.birmingham.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Council, Birmingham City. "Local Government Boundary Review". www.birmingham.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- K, Sarah (20 December 2013). "New Chief Executive appointed". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Chief executive of Birmingham City Council Mark Rogers leaves role". BBC Online. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Kirby, Sarah (20 March 2017). "Birmingham to name Stella Manzie as Interim Chief Executive". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Ndikon, Uchenna. "Management structure". www.birmingham.gov.uk. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Management structure". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Digital by Default News, Council to wind up joint IT venture, 19 May 2017, accessed 30 May 2017