Politics of Bristol facts for kids
The city of Bristol, England, is a unitary authority, represented by four MPs representing seats wholly within the city boundaries. As well as these, Filton and Bradley Stoke covers the northern urban fringe in South Gloucestershire and the north eastern urban fringe is in the Kingswood constituency. The overall trend of both local and national representation became left of centre, favouring the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats during the latter 20th century, but there was a shift to the right in the 2010 general election (although this was not reflected in the local elections). The city has a tradition of local activism, with environmental issues and sustainable transport being prominent issues in the city.
On 3 May 2012, Bristol held a referendum to decide whether the city should have a directly elected mayor to replace the leader elected by councillors. The result was announced on 4 May. 41,032 voted for an elected mayor and 35,880 voted against, with a turnout of 24%. An election for the new post was held on 15 November 2012, with Independent candidate George Ferguson becoming the first Mayor of Bristol.
The City of Bristol is a ceremonial county governed by a unitary authority; Bristol City Council. The city is divided into 35 wards, which each elect two councillors for a four-year term. One third of the councillors are elected three years in four, but as only one councillor from any ward stands at a time, two-thirds of wards are competed each election. From 2016, the whole council will be elected every four years.
The full council of 70 councillors has ultimate responsibility for establishing the decision making process and approving the Council's budget and policy framework. The council meets at the City Hall (known as the Council House up until 2012). Full meetings are chaired by the Lord Mayor, a largely ceremonial role that does not hold direct power. The Lord Mayor is a councillor, elected annually in May by the council members.
The elected mayor (not the Lord Mayor) acts as leader of the cabinet and appoints up to seven councillors as members (six were appointed as of May 2013). The cabinet is responsible for most day-to-day decisions though the elected Mayor retains the right to override cabinet votes.
Composition and control
The Council has long been dominated by the Labour Party, but recently the Liberal Democrat party has grown strong in the city and took minority control of the Council between the 2005 and 2007 elections. After the 2007 elections, the Labour, Conservative and Green parties then joined forces to oust them and install a minority Labour administration. The Lord Mayor for 2012–2013 was Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Main. In October 2008 the Liberal Democrats won a seat from Labour in a by-election caused by the death of the sitting councillor. On 24 February 2009 the minority Labour administration resigned following a defeat over plans to build an incinerator in Avonmouth, and the Liberal Democrats resumed control.
In 2009, the election resulted in the Liberal Democrats taking overall majority control of Bristol City Council for the first time. In 2010 they increased their representation to 38 seats giving them a majority of 6. In 2011, they lost their majority leading to a hung council. The 2013 local elections, in which a third of the city's wards were up for election, saw Labour gain 7 seats and the Green party double their seats from 2 to 4 while the Liberal Democrats suffered a loss of 10 seats. These trends were continued into the next election in May 2014, in which Labour gained 3 seats to take their total to 31, the Green Party built on their success by winning 2 more seats, the Conservative Party gained 1 seat and UKIP won their first ever seat on the council. In another damaging result, the Liberal Democrats lost a further 7 seats. In March 2015, the only Independent Councillor on Bristol City Council defected to the Conservatives, bringing their total up to 16.
In May 2015, the Green Party continued to increase their number of seats, winning 7 new seats (5 from the Lib Dems and 2 from Labour) and becoming the 3rd largest party on the Council, with the Lib Dems now in 4th. Labour also gained a new seat at the expense of the Lib Dems. The Lib Dem's decline was compounded later that month when one of the remaining Lib Dem Councillors defected to the Greens, leaving the Lib Dems with 9 seats and the Greens with 14.
In 2016 the government proposed that the four local authorities that replaced Avon (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset) come together in a combined Western Mayoral Authority with a "metro mayor" who would oversee a new combined authority, to create a "Western Powerhouse" analogous to the government's Northern Powerhouse concept. The proposal could bring nearly £1 billion of investment to the region.
|Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston||Labour||Donald Alexander|
|Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston||Conservative||Matt Melias|
|Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston||Labour||Jo Sargeant|
|Bishopston & Ashley Down||Labour||Tom Brook|
|Bishopston & Ashley Down||Green||Eleanor Combley|
|Brislington East||Conservative||Tony Carey|
|Brislington East||Labour||Mike Langley|
|Brislington West||Labour||Harriet Bradley|
|Brislington West||Liberal Democrats||Jos Clark|
|Bristol Central||Labour||Kye Dudd|
|Bristol Central||Labour||Paul Smith|
|Clifton Down||Green||Carla Denyer|
|Clifton Down||Green||Clive Stevens|
|Cotham||Liberal Democrats||Anthony Negus|
|Frome Vale||Conservative||Lesley Alexander|
|Frome Vale||Labour||Nicola Bowden-Jones|
|Hartcliffe & Withywood||Labour||Mark Brain|
|Hartcliffe & Withywood||Labour||Helen Legg|
|Hartcliffe & Withywood||Labour||Paul Goggin|
|Henbury & Brentry||Conservative||Chris Windows|
|Henbury & Brentry||Conservative||Mark Weston|
|Hengrove & Whitchurch Park||Liberal Democrats||Tim Kent|
|Hengrove & Whitchurch Park||Liberal Democrats||Harriet Clough|
|Hengrove & Whitchurch Park||Labour||Barry Clark|
|Hotwells & Harbourside||Liberal Democrats||Mark Wright|
|Knowle||Liberal Democrats||Chris Davies|
|Knowle||Liberal Democrats||Gary Hopkins|
|Lawrence Hill||Labour||Marg Hickman|
|Lawrence Hill||Labour||Hibaq Jama|
|St George Central||Labour||Nicola Beech|
|St George Central||Labour||Steve Pearce|
|St George Troopers Hill||Labour||Fabian Breckels|
|St George West||Labour||Asher Craig|
|Stoke Bishop||Conservative||Peter Abraham|
|Stoke Bishop||Conservative||John Goulandris|
|Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze||Liberal Democrats||Clare Campion-Smith|
|Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze||Conservative||Geoff Gollop|
|Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze||Conservative||Liz Radford|
|Windmill Hill||Labour||Jon Wellington|
|Windmill Hill||Labour||Lucy Whittle|
There are four Westminster constituencies that are part of Bristol proper—Bristol West, Bristol East, Bristol South and Bristol North West.
|Bristol North West||Conservative||Charlotte Leslie|
|Bristol East||Labour||Kerry McCarthy|
|Bristol South||Labour||Karin Smyth|
|Bristol West||Labour||Thangam Debbonaire|
Parts of the Bristol built-up area outside the administrative city are covered by the Filton and Bradley Stoke and Kingswood constituencies in South Gloucestershire, the eponymous constituency of North Somerset in North Somerset, and North East Somerset in the authority of Bath and North East Somerset.
Being in the South West England region for the European Parliament, Bristol currently elects six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Currently, two MEPs come from the Conservative Party, two from the UK Independence Party, one from the Labour Party and one from the Green Party
The last election to the European Parliament from the South West was held on 22 May 2014.
|Member||Party||European Party Group|
|Molly Scott Cato||Green||Green/EFA|
|Ashley Fox||Conservative||European Conservatives and Reformists|
|Julie Girling||Conservative||European Conservatives and Reformists|
|William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth||UK Independence Party||Europe of Freedom and Democracy|
|Clare Moody||Labour||Socialists and Democrats|
|Julia Reid||UK Independence Party||Europe of Freedom and Democracy|
Politics of Bristol Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.