Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quick Question

I'm trying to find out how many different forms of councillor there are - ie how many district councillors, how many county councillors etc. I rang the LGA who told me to ring the Office of National Statistics. They had no idea. I've tried googling it but no luck. Can anyone help?

UPDATE: Thanks to all who left comments. David Boothroyd has come up with goods!


strapworld said...

Parish. Town. District County.
Probably old quaint ones in old borough's.

Bring back Aldermen Iain!!

Paul Linford said...

That's a story in itself isn't it - the local government association doesn't know how many members it's got.

Anonymous said...

you also have teh unprincipled ones as

Anonymous said...

Lots of them...

Chris Paul said...

Paul: I do expect that someone in the LGA does have the answer to Iain's query ...

But CCHQ certainly does. Surprised it doesn't google more easily (I've tried too) but CCHQ have surely issued press releases on the state of the parties in terms of local and county representation? e.g. Tories now have a record 5,000 of a possible 9,000 - that sort of thing?? As I recall these figures were a bit off because they did include all sorts of parish councils and the like, the newer type of which are rebranded residents' associations.

"City" may be another overlapping category in some cases. I think I read somewhere that Hereford has city councillors, a district council AND a county council, plus whatever parishes.

Aldermen have never gone away Strapworld. Customarily awarded for x years service to councillors, e.g. 15 or 20, and remaining Alderman on retirement, plus Hon Aldermen sometimes used to push should-retires out.

Not sure how many of these people are really going to be interested in Total Pants Iain, but good luck with it. There might well be as much interest from always the bridesmaid PPCs and PLGCs in larger authorities as from any parish councillors whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Try asking the Mysociety/WriteToThem people - who might be able to help - these use data from GovEval

Parish Councillors if you are interested are going to be difficult - there are unlikely to central records, and I've had difficulty getting information on them out of the District Authorities on the past.

Anonymous said...


Have you been following the developments as regards what has been happening on Southampton City Council in the last 24 hours???

Matt Wardman said...

Best I can do in 5 minutes:

Matt W

Anonymous said...


You've mixed up two questions there. You start with how many different forms of councillor, then talk about how many councillors there are.

If the later is what you seek you can do a counting exercise from the district, borough and county council websites that post that infomration. That will leave only the obscure councils like the Corporation of London, and you'll have to determine whether the local government of places like the channel islands or Isle of Man sould be included.

The 3 most common types of councillor are Parish, District/Borough and County.


Anonymous said...

How many types, or how many of each type? I can tell you for Counties if you give me five minutes, because it's my job. It's about 2,500.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of stating teh bleedin' obvious, try the Department for Communities nd Local Government press office. You'll also have to contact the Scottish Executive / Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. the Conservative councillors' Association - - should surely know how many Tories there are - there might be a similar body for the other parties? It's the sort of thing that might be in Whittakers Almanac - or that a local govt correspondent on one of the nationals might know. Very surprised that the LGA doen't have this information to hand - they are the 'trade union' of local govt. Also try IDEA - - which works for improvement (not hard) in local govt.

Whatever the answer is, it is probably too many!

Anonymous said...

Iain, the information you are after is in the National Census of Local Authority Councillors 2006 and can be found at

David Boothroyd said...

As of now at this moment in time:

London borough councillors: 1,861
English county councillors: 2,270
Metropolitan borough councillors: 2,555
English unitary authority councillors: 2,407
English lower-tier district councillors: 10,575

Welsh unitary authority councillors: 1,264

Scottish unitary authority councillors: 1,222

Northern Ireland district councillors: 582

Grand total: 22,736

Parish councillors are not counted as principal local authorities but according to the National Association of Local Councils there are nearly 100,000 Parish, town and community councillors in England and Wales.

Anonymous said...

2,427. Have e-mailed.

Anonymous said...

re southampton

We proposed a 10% tax cut for pensioners, special police officers would not pay council tax and we proposed the lowest council tax since 1997. Labour and liberals did not like this. They are now in a coalition runing the city. i look forward to May 1st

cllr Gavin Dick

Anonymous said...

There are only two.

Labour and incompetent liars.


Niles said...

Hereford must be a special case.

If I understand it right, Hereford City Council is a parish (one of nearly 150 parishes in the county).

No district, so no district councillors.

If David Boothroyd hadn't already found the list, I'd have sent you to Keith Edkin's Council Composition table.

strapworld said...


I apologise for my earlier remarks. I misread your blog. However I must congratulate Master Boothroyd.

This was the most helpful contribution he must have ever made. Has he just taken his eleven plus?

David Boothroyd said...

The difference between my figure and jdc's figure for county councils is because there are three unitary county councils (Isle of Wight, Herefordshire and Rutland) counted as unitary in my figures, but among the county councils for jdc.

The Indigo list of council compositions is also available:
And don't forget the blog to tell you all about updates: .

Anonymous said...

Gavin dICK, 11:59

Sorry, can't resist this.

Is that "running" or "ruining"?

Anonymous said...

our friends at the standards board for england should be able to shed some light on the matter - if you can bear contacting them.

Brian said...

Add in MPs and Working Peers and the prison building programme will be bigger than the Olympics come the revolution!