Cambridge City Council

Cambridge City Council is the local authority for Cambridge, a non-metropolitan district with city status in Cambridgeshire, England. The council has been under Labour majority control since 2014. It meets at Cambridge Guildhall. The council is a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Cambridge City Council
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms
Baiju Thittala,
since 23 May 2024[1]
Mike Davey,
since 25 May 2023
Robert Pollock
since April 2021[2]
Seats42 councillors[3]
Political groups
Administration (25)
  Labour (25)
Other parties (17)
  Liberal Democrats (10)
  Green (5)
  Conservative (1)
  Independent (1)
First past the post
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ



Cambridge was an ancient borough. Its date of being established as a borough is unknown, with its earliest known charter dating from 1102.[4] A subsequent charter issued by King John in 1207 granted the borough the right to appoint a mayor. The earliest recorded mayor was Harvey FitzEustace, who served in 1213.[5]

The borough of Cambridge was reformed to become a municipal borough in 1836 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which standardised how boroughs operated across the country. It was then governed by a body formally called the 'Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Cambridge', generally known as the corporation, town council or borough council.[6] Cambridge was granted city status on 21 March 1951 in recognition of its history, administrative importance, and economic success, allowing the council to call itself Cambridge City Council.[7]

The Local Government Act 1972 reconstituted Cambridge as a non-metropolitan district with effect from 1 April 1974; it kept the same boundaries and its city status, but there were changes to the council's responsibilities.[8]

The city of Cambridge is completely encircled by the neighbouring district of South Cambridgeshire. The two authorities work together on some projects, such as the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.[9] Since 2017 the city has been a constituent member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, led by the directly-elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.[10]



Cambridge City Council provides district-level services, including parks and open spaces, waste collection, council housing and town planning. The Council also organises numerous events throughout the year, including the Cambridge Folk Festival and a programme of free summer entertainment entitled Summer in the City. County-level services are provided by Cambridgeshire County Council.[11] There are no civil parishes in Cambridge; the entire district is an unparished area.[12]

Political control


The council has been under Labour majority control since 2014.

Political control of the council since the 1974 reforms took effect has been as follows:[13]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
No overall control 1979–1986
Labour 1986–1987
No overall control 1987–1988
Labour 1988–1992
No overall control 1992–1996
Labour 1996–1998
No overall control 1998–2000
Liberal Democrats 2000–2012
No overall control 2012–2014
Labour 2014–present



The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Cambridge. Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2000 have been:[14]

Councillor Party From To
David Howarth Liberal Democrats 2000 17 Jul 2003
Ian Nimmo-Smith Liberal Democrats 17 Jul 2003 27 May 2010
Sian Reid Liberal Democrats 27 May 2010 24 May 2012
Tim Bick Liberal Democrats 24 May 2012 12 Jun 2014
Lewis Herbert Labour 12 Jun 2014 30 Nov 2021
Anna Smith Labour 30 Nov 2021 25 May 2023
Mike Davey Labour 25 May 2023



Since the 2024 election, the composition of the council has been:[15]

Party Councillors
Labour 25
Liberal Democrats 10
Green 5
Conservative 1
Independent 1
Total 42

The next election is due in 2026.



Since the last boundary changes came into effect in 2021, the council has comprised 42 councillors representing 14 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with a third of the council (one councillor for each ward) elected each time for a four-year term of office. Cambridgeshire County Council elections are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no city council elections. The wards are:[16][17]



The council meets at the Guildhall, on the south side of Market Square in the centre of Cambridge. The building was purpose-built for the old borough council and completed in 1939.[18] The council also has offices at Mandela House at 4 Regent Street.[19]

Flag used by Cambridge City Council

See also



  1. ^ "New Mayor of Cambridge to champion support for rough sleepers and new cancer research hospital". Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 27 May 2024.
  2. ^ Veale, Andy (19 December 2020). "Former civil servant Robert Pollock appointed as city council's new chief executive". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Control of the Council". Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  4. ^ Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Municipal Corporations in England and Wales: Appendix 4. 1835. p. 2185. Retrieved 27 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Ceremonial maces, 1207 charter and the city's coat of arms". Cambridge City Council.
  6. ^ "Cambridge Municipal Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  7. ^ "No. 39201". The London Gazette. 13 April 1951. p. 2067.
  8. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972",, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 31 May 2023
  9. ^ "Greater Cambridge Local Plan". Greater Cambridge Shared Planning. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  10. ^ "The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Order 2017",, The National Archives, SI 2017/251, retrieved 13 June 2023
  11. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  12. ^ "Election maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Council minutes". Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Local elections 2024: full mayoral and council results for England". The Guardian. 4 May 2024. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  16. ^ "The Cambridge (Electoral Changes) Order 2019",, The National Archives, SI 2019/1123, retrieved 27 May 2024
  17. ^ "Ward boundary review". Cambridge City Council.
  18. ^ Historic England, "Guildhall (1268372)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 4 January 2018
  19. ^ "Council offices". Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 14 June 2023.