Newcastle City Council

Newcastle City Council is the local government authority for the city and metropolitan borough of Newcastle upon Tyne. The council consists of 78 councillors, three for each of the city's 26 wards. It is currently controlled by the Labour Party, led by Councillor Nick Forbes.[2] Councillor David Cook serves as the Lord Mayor and Councillor Habib Rahman serves as Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff.[3] The council is a member of the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Newcastle City Council
Cllr David Cook, Labour
since 22 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Nick Forbes, Labour
since 5 May 2011
Deputy Leader
Cllr Joyce McCarty, Labour
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Nick Cott[1], Liberal Democrats
Chief executive
Pat Ritchie
since January 2013
Seats78 (40 needed for a majority)
Political groups
Administration (52)
  Labour (52)
Opposition (26)
  Liberal Democrat (20)
  Newcastle Independent (3)
  Independent (3)
Joint committees
North of Tyne Combined Authority
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
6 May 2021
Meeting place
Newcastle Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne


Elections are held by thirds, in three years out of four. 2004 saw boundary changes and all seats were up for re-election. Similarly, following boundary changes, all seats were up for re-election in 2018. Three councillors represent each of the 26 wards in the city and usually are elected for a 4-year term.

Since the May 2021 election, there are 52 Labour councillors, 20 Liberal Democrat councillors, 3 Newcastle Independent councillors and 3 Independent councillors.[4]


Newcastle has 26 electoral wards. Each electoral ward has three councillors, representing and elected exclusively by the voting population of each ward.[5] Following an electoral review in 2016, the current wards and boundaries were introduced in May 2018.[6]

List of electoral wards

Current Cabinet

  • Councillor Nick Forbes – Leader of the Council
  • Councillor Joyce McCarty – Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Resources
  • Councillor Paula Holland – Cabinet member for Education and Skills
  • Councillor Ged Bell – Cabinet member for Employment and Culture
  • Councillor John-Paul Stephenson – Cabinet member for Environmental and Regulatory Services
  • Councillor Karen Kilgour – Cabinet member for Health and Social Care
  • Councillor Linda Hobson – Cabinet member for Housing
  • Councillor Arlene Ainsley – Cabinet member for Transport and Air Quality
  • Councillor Irim Ali - Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health
  • Councillor Clare Penny-Evans – Cabinet member for Climate Change and Communities

Past administrations

Leader Years Control
Thomas Daniel Smith 1959–1965 Labour
Frank Butterfield 1965–1966
Arthur Grey 1967–1972 Conservative
John Cox 1972–1974
Tom Collins 1974–1977 Labour
Jeremy Beecham 1977–1994
Tony Flynn 1994–2004
Peter Arnold 2004–2006 Liberal Democrats
John Shipley 2006–2010
David Faulkner 2010–2011
Nick Forbes 2011 – present Labour

For a list of past Mayors and Lord Mayors see List of Lord Mayors of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

See also