Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council
|Third of council elected three years out of four|
Coat of arms
|Founded||1 April 1974|
|Preceded by||Manchester Corporation|
Cllr Abid Latif Chohan, Labour
since 15 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Leader of the Opposition
Joanne Roney OBE
|Greater Manchester Combined Authority|
Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel
|First past the post|
|2019 (one third of councillors)|
2018 (all councillors due to boundary changes)
2016 (one third of councillors)
|2020 (one third of councillors)|
2022 (one third of councillors)
2023 (one third of councillors)
|Concilio et Labore|
|Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester|
Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It 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 Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.
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.
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.
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. Between 2014 and 2016 Labour occupied every seat with no opposition. 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. 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. On 24 July 2019 it was reported that Majid Dar (Ancoats and Beswick) had been suspended by the Labour party.
Coat of arms
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.
- 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 the 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; was the first sitting of the Court of Chivalry for two hundred years, and it has not sat since.
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 said the town hall's latest move a ‘massive over-reaction and waste of money’, adding: "Have the council’s legal department got nothing better to do?"
On 29 March 2001, a Labour councillor resigned after allegations of housing benefit fraud; the Manchester Evening News reported that Andy Harland, who represented Beswick and Clayton for over three years and served on the city's "executive committee, quit" after failing "to declare a portion of income that relates to a housing benefit claim." A by-election was held later that year. Harland was elected in 2018 to represent Clayton and Openshaw.
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.
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. He did not stand in the following election.
On 9 April 2018, it was reported that the Labour Party had received formal complaints about Chris Paul, Labour councillor for Withington since 2011. There were social media comments describing women as "cows", "slobs" and "bitches", and inciting violence against women. Greater Manchester Police, The Labour Party and Manchester City Council all launched investigations and Paul eventually apologised. Paul was re-elected in Withington ward with a reduced majority, beating Lib Dem candidate April Preston. Manchester Council bosses banned elected opposition members from asking questions about Paul and on 18 July 2018, more than three months after initial reports surfaced, The Sun newspaper reported that Paul was still under investigation, it also revealed that Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith posted a selfie photograph with the councillor on Twitter which was met negatively by some locals.
On 12 February 2019, an 'enormous political row'  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; 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". When asked to clarify his comments by local media, Leech refused to apologise and instead went on to describe the policy as "social cleansing", promising his party would "oppose it until the end of time."  Twitter users dubbed the controversy #CrapGate. Labour Deputy Council Leader and City Centre councillor Sam Wheeler both defended the policy claiming the intention is only to target those caught 'aggressively begging'.
On 8 March 2019, at a routine council budget meeting, an extraordinary row erupted before proceedings began; 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 the Lib Dem leader John Leech entered the chamber, he took down the message – prompting senior Labour Councillor Pat Karney to ‘thunder’ across the chamber, he began ‘screaming’ and ‘shouting’ and Leech and told him to hand over the laminated A4 pieces of paper at least 11 times. Reports claim Leech remained quiet in his seat whilst Karney ‘aggressively shouted’ at him whilst ‘standing intimidatingly over him’. A statement from the Lib Dems after said they had reported the events and didn't tolerate bullying, intimidation or abuse.
On 15 April 2019, The Times uncovered a number of offensive tweets from Fallowfield Labour councillor Jade Doswell. 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’, she apologised on a private Facebook post.
On 25 July 2019, it was reported that councillor 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’.
On 2 October 2019, during a full council meeting, Liberal Democrat opposition councillor Richard Kilpatrick was questioning council leader Richard Leese on the council's preparations for schools and hospitals in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In his first response to the questioning, Leese said that the Liberal Democrats were deliberately trying to stop Brexit, referencing their new 'Revoke and Remain' policy; this prompted Kilpatrick's followup question to admit this was the case and said Leese should "bite the bullet and vote Lib Dem at the next election". Leese responded: “I’d need a bullet in the brain to do that! Come on!” The comments immediately attracted criticism. Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP told Politics Home he thought the comments were “unhelpful and divisive.” A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats claimed his comments “trivialised gun violence” and questioned his position as council leader. 
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2019)
|1996-||Sir Richard Leese||Labour|
Leaders of the Opposition
|1973-1990||Harold Tucker||Conservative||Tucker was Lord Mayor of Manchester from 1984-1985.|
|1991-1997||James Ashley||Liberal Democrat||James Ashley was Lord Mayor of Manchester from 17 May 2006 to 12 August 2006. He died in office at age 66.|
|1997-2011||Simon Ashley||Liberal Democrat|
|2011-2014||Simon Wheale||Liberal Democrat|
|2014-2018||Vacant||N/A||Labour held 96/96 seats 2014-2016, John Leech was the sole opposition member from 2016-18.|
|2018-||John Leech||Liberal Democrat||John Leech was Deputy Leader of the Opposition 1998-2005, MP for Manchester Withington 2005-15.|
- Carol Culley (2015-)
- Sir Joseph Heron, 1838-1889
- Sir Philip Burrington Dingle (1906–1978), Town Clerk of Manchester: 1944–66.
|Blackley and Broughton||Manchester Gorton||Wythenshawe and Sale East|
|Manchester Central||Manchester Withington|
Each ward is represented by three councillors.
|Parliamentary constituency||Ward||Councillor||Party||Term of office|
|Blackley and Broughton
|Higher Blackley||Paula Sadler||Labour||2019-23|
|Ancoats and Beswick||Mohammed Majid Dar||Independent||2019-23|
|Clayton and Openshaw||Sean McHale||Labour||2019-23|
|Miles Platting and Newton Heath||John Flanagan||Labour||2019-23|
|Moss Side||Mahadi Hussein Sharif Mahamed||Labour||2019-23|
|Ali R. Ilyas||Labour||2019-22|
|Gorton and Abbey Hey||Afia Kamal||Labour||2019-23|
|Whalley Range||Angeliki Stogia||Labour Co-op||2019-23|
|Chorlton Park||Dave Rawson||Labour||2019-23|
|Didsbury East||James Wilson||Labour Co-op||2019-23|
|Didsbury West||Greg Stanton||Liberal Democrat||2019-23|
|Richard Kilpatrick||Liberal Democrat||2018-20|
|John Leech||Liberal Democrat||2018-22|
|Old Moat||Garry Bridges||Labour||2019-23|
|Chris Wills||Labour Co-op||2018-20|
|Wythenshawe and Sale East
|Tracy Rawlins||Labour Co-op||2018-20|
|Paul Andrews||Labour Co-op||2018-22|
|Sharston||Tim Whiston||Labour Co-op||2019-23|
|Tommy Judge||Labour Co-op||2018-22|
|Woodhouse Park||Edward Newman||Labour||2019-23|
- 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).
- Staff writer (8 May 2015). "Election 2015: Labour gains total control of Manchester City Council". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Williams, Jennifer (24 July 2019). "Manchester councillor suspended amid anti-semitism investigation". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- 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).
- Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd, P 133;  1 All ER 387
- Squibb, G. D. (1997) . The High Court of Chivalry: a study of the civil law in England. Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198251408.
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- "We need to talk about Kevin (Peel). | Shamballa By Sara". shamballabysara.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
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- Williams, Jennifer (12 February 2019). "'Aggressive' begging and public urination could soon be punished with £100 fines". men. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- 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". twitter.com. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "Council policy branded "crap" by Manchester Lib Dem leader". manchestergazette.co.uk. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Premier (14 February 2019). "Controversy over fines on rough sleepers in Manchester". Premier. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Williams, Jennifer (8 March 2019). "Manchester council meeting kicks off with blazing row over 'Lib Dem cuts' poster". men. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "Jennifer Williams (@JenWilliamsMEN) - Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Barlow, Nigel (8 March 2019). "Karnage at the council budget meeting". aboutmanchester.co.uk. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "Senior Manchester councillor branded a 'bully' after tumultuous council meeting". manchestergazette.co.uk. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Henry Zeffman, Kate Devlin (15 April 2019). "Labour antisemitism: Israeli flag made party candidate 'feel sick'". Retrieved 19 April 2019 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- Reporter, Jewish News. "Labour candidate 'sorry' for saying sight of Israeli flag made her 'feel sick'". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Editor (21 June 2012). "Richard Paver on cuts, borrowing and derivatives". Room 151 – Local Government Treasury, Technical & Strategic Finance. Longview Productions Ltd. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Asa Briggs, Victorian Cities, University of California Press, 1965, p. 238
- "Dingle, Sir Philip (Burrington)". Oxford Biography Index.
- "All councillors". Manchester City Council. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- 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