City and County of Swansea Council

The City and County of Swansea Council (Welsh: Cyngor Dinas a Sir Abertawe) is the governing body for one of the Principal Areas of Wales covering Swansea, Gower and the surrounding area. The council consists of 72 councillors representing 36 electoral wards.[3]

Swansea Council

Cyngor Abertawe
Swansea City Council Logo.svg
Founded1 April 1996
Preceded byWest Glamorgan County Council
Presiding Member
Cllr Des Thomas
since 25 May 2017
Lord Mayor
Cllr Mark Child
since 2020/21
Leader of the Council
Cllr Rob Stewart, Labour
since 9 September 2014
Deputy Leaders
Cllr David Hopkins
Cllr Andrea Lewis, Labour
Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Chris Holley, Liberal Democrats
Chief Executive
Phil Roberts
Seats72 councillors[1][2]
Swansea Council composition
Political groups
Administration (47)
  Labour (47)
Other parties (25)
  Conservative (9)
  Liberal Democrats (7)
  Independent (3)
  Independents @ Swansea (2)
  Uplands (2)
  Non-aligned (1)
  Vacant (1)
Length of term
5 years
First past the post
First election
4 May 1995
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
5 May 2022
Meeting place
Council chamber in Swansea Guildhall
Guildhall, Swansea
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Since 2012 the council has been controlled by the Labour Party.

Municipal historyEdit

The Guildhall - council headquarters

Swansea's first charter was granted sometime between 1158-1184 by William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick. The charter gave Swansea the status of a borough, granting the townsmen, called burgesses certain rights to develop the area. A second charter was granted in 1215 by King John. By 1888, the borough acquired the status of county borough, separating it from the administrative county of Glamorgan.

Swansea County Borough Council was created in 1889 and the first elections held in November of that year.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Swansea (which had previously been a county borough) was merged with Gower Rural District, to become a district of West Glamorgan called the District and City of Swansea. In 1996, another local government reform saw the district of Swansea merged with parts of the Lliw Valley district to form a unitary authority under the name of the 'City and County of Swansea' (Welsh: Dinas a Sir Abertawe.)

Political makeupEdit

Elections have recently taken place every five years. The last election was 4 May 2017.

Current compositionEdit

The council is currently controlled by the Labour Party.[4]

Group affiliation Members
Labour 48
Conservative 8
Liberal Democrats 7
Uplands 2

Historic resultsEdit

Year Total Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats Plaid Cymru Other Turnout Notes
2017 [5] 72 48 8 7 0 9 Labour controlled
2012 [6][7] 72 49 4 12 0 7 33.97% Labour controlled
2008 [8] 72 30 4 23 1 14 38.19% NOC, Swansea Administration controlled
2004 [9][10] 72 32 4 19 5 12 38.32% NOC, Swansea Administration controlled
1999 72 45 4 11 3 9 Labour controlled
1995 72 56 1 5 0 7 Labour controlled

Between 1996 and 2004, and since 2012 the council is under Labour control. Between 2004 and 2012 there was no overall control and the council was led by a Liberal Democrat coalition in alliance with the Independents and the Conservatives, termed the Swansea Administration. However these figures changed during the 2004-2008 period with the defection of Cllr. Keith Morgan from Plaid Cymru to the Welsh Liberal Democrats in 2005 and Cllr. Rene Kinzett from the Welsh Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives in 2006.

In September 2014, Cllr Rob Stewart took over leadership of the council, from Cllr David Phillips. Phillips resigned at the end of August, after 2 years leading the council.[11]

Labour retained control at the 2017 elections despite predictions that the party would lose its majority.


Mansion House, Ffynone

The Lord Mayor of Swansea (Welsh: Arglwydd Faer Abertawe) is a senior member of the elected Council. Swansea has had a Mayor since it became a borough in 1835. The dignity of Lord Mayor was conferred on the city by Queen Elizabeth II on 22 March 1982 to celebrate the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales. The status was confirmed on 1 April 1996 when the Unitary Authority of the City and County of Swansea came into being.

The style of the Lord Mayor is "The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Swansea". The official residence is the Mansion House in Ffynone, which was originally built as the home of a previous mayor, Evan Matthew Richards. It was purchased by the then County Borough of Swansea in 1922 and renamed the Mansion House.

Lord Mayors of SwanseaEdit

Municipal Year Mayor Notes
2021–22 Mary Jones
2020–21 Mark Child
2019–20 Peter Black
2018–19 David Phillips
2017–18 Philip Downing
2016–17 David Hopkins [12]
2015–16 John Newbury [13]
2014–15 Ceinwen Thomas [14]
2013–14 June Stanton [15]
2012–13 Dennis James died 20 April 2013
2011–12 Ioan Richard
2010–11 Richard Lewis
2009–10 Alan Lloyd
2008–09 Gareth Sullivan
2007–08 Susan Waller (Thomas)
2006–07 Christopher Holley
2005–06 Mair Gibbs
2004–05 Margaret Smith
2003–04 Lawrence Bailey
2002–03 June Burtonshaw
2001–02 Robert Francis-Davies
2000–01 John Davies
1999–2000 Robert J. Lloyd [16]
1998–99 David I. E. Jones [16]
1997–98 Gareth Williams[16]
1996–97 Desmond Thomas/Len Howell
1995–96 Grenville Phillips
1994–95 Walter Dyer
1993–94 Robert Davies
1992–93 Charles Birss
1991–92 Byron Owen
1990–91 Colin Hammacott
1989–90 Lorna Aldron
1988–89 Howard John Morgan
1987–88 Holland William Ayres
1986–87 Lilian Maud Hopkin First female Lord Mayor
1985–86 Trevor Gordon Burtonshaw
1984–85 Michael Murphy
1983–84 Charles Thomas
1982–83 Tyssul Lewis
1982 Paul Valerio First Lord Mayor of Swansea
  • Undated : Cornelius Collins ;

Electoral divisionsEdit

Electoral ward map of Swansea

The city is divided into 36 electoral wards. Most of these wards are coterminous with communities (parishes) of the same name. Each community can have an elected council. The following table lists council wards, communities and associated geographical areas. Communities with a community council are indicated with a '*':

Map # Ward Communities (Parishes) Places covered # Councillors Population (*1) Land Area (km²) Population density (ppl/km²)
1 Bishopston Bishopston* Barland Common, Caswell, Bishopston, Clyne Common, Manselfield, Murton, Oldway 1 3,341 5.89 567
2 Bon-y-maen Bon-y-maen Pentrechwyth, Pentre Dwr, Winch Wen 2 6,342 8.47 749
3 Castle Castle Swansea city centre, Brynmelin, Dyfatty, Maritime Quarter, parts of Mount Pleasant and Sandfields 4 11,933 3.03 3,938
4 Clydach Clydach* Clydach, Faerdre, Glais (East) and Penydre 2 7,320 8.46 865
5 Cockett Cockett Cadle, Cwmdu, Coedweig, Gendros, Gors, Fforestfach, Waunarlwydd 4 12,586 8.6 1,464
6 Cwmbwrla Cwmbwrla Brondeg, Brynhyfryd, Cwmdu, Gendros, Manselton 3 8,217 1.5 5,478
7 Dunvant Dunvant Dunvant, Killay 2 4,679 2.41 1,941
8 Fairwood Upper Killay*, Three Crosses ward of the community of Llanrhidian Higher* Upper Killay, Three Crosses 1 2,774 13.44 206
9 Gorseinon Gorseinon Central and Gorseinon East wards of the community of Gorseinon* Gorseinon town 1 3,275 2.23 1,469
10 Gower The Communities of: Cheriton, Fairyhill, Horton, Knelston, Landimore, Llanddewi, Llangennith, Llanmadoc, Llanrhidian, Middleton, Nicholaston, Oldwalls, Overton, Oxwich Green, Oxwich, Parkmill, Penmaen, Penrice, Port Eynon, Reynoldston, Rhossili, Grovesend, Llanmorlais, Pentrebach, Pont-Lliw, Poundffald, Slade 1 3,654 113.2 32
11 Gowerton Gowerton* Gowerton village, Penclawdd, Waunarlwydd 1 4,928 7.55 653
12 Killay North Killay* (North ward) Carnglas, Olchfa and Waunarlwydd 1 3,436 1.99 1,727
13 Killay South Killay* (South ward) Dunvant, Ilston, Sketty 1 2,297 1.24 1,852
14 Kingsbridge Llwchwr* (Garden Village and Kingsbridge wards) Garden Village, Stafford Common 1 4,089 4.82 848
15 Landore Landore Hafod, Landore, Morfa, Plasmarl 2 6,121 2.23 2,745
16 Llangyfelach Pantlasau, Tircoed 1 4,426 17.12 259
17 Llansamlet Llansamlet, Birchgrove Birchgrove, Glais, Heol Las, Llansamlet, Morriston, Talycoppa, Summerhill and Trallwn 4 12,003 15.54 772
18 Lower Loughor Llwchwr* (Lower Loughor ward) Loughor 1 2,146 1.61 1,767
19 Mawr Mawr* Felindre, Craigcefnparc, Garnswllt, Ryhdypandy 1 1,800 57.81 31
20 Mayals Mumbles* (Mayals ward) Blackpill, Mayals, West Cross 1 2,834 4.52 627
21 Morriston Morriston Caemawr, Cwmrhydyceirw, Morriston town, Parc Gwernfadog, Pant-lasau, Ynysforgan and Ynystawe 5 16,781 7.32 2,292
22 Mynydd-Bach Mynydd-Bach Clase, Clasemont, Park View Estate, Penfillia Estate, Treboeth, Tirdeunaw, Pinewood, Mynydd Garnlywd and Bryn Rock 3 8,756 3.57 2,453
23 Newton Mumbles* (Newton ward) Caswell, Langland Bay 1 3,150 2.36 1,335
24 Oystermouth Mumbles* (Oystermouth ward) Norton, Mumbles, Thistleboon 1 4,315 2.01 2,147
25 Penclawdd Llanrhidian Higher* (Llanmorlais and Penclawdd wards) Blue Anchor, Llanmorlais, Penclawdd, Crofty and Wernffrwd 1 3,672 14.3 257
26 Penderry Penderry Penlan, Portmead, Blaen-y-Maes, Fforesthall and Caereithin 3 10,981 4.04 2,718
27 Penllergaer Penllergaer* Penllergaer and part of Gorseinon 1 2,434 6.01 405
28 Pennard Pennard* Bishopston, Fairwood Common, Kittle, Parkmill, Southgate 1 2,648 11.64 227
29 Penyrheol
  • Grovesend*
  • Gorseinon* (Gorseinon West and Penyrheol wards)
Grovesend and Waun Gron 2 5,780 8.61 671
30 Pontarddulais Pontarddulais* Pontarddulais town 2 5,293 15.61 339
31 St. Thomas St. Thomas Bon-y-maen, Dan-y-graig, Landore, Port Tennant, SA1 Waterfront, Swansea Docks, Kilvey Hill and the Grenfell Park Area, St. Thomas 2 6,373 5.91 1,078
32 Sketty Sketty Carnglas, Clyne Valley (Gwerneinon), Derwen Fawr, Hendrefoilan, Killay, Singleton Park, Sketty village, Tycoch, Cwmgwyn 5 13,799 6.87 2,009
33 Townhill Townhill Cwm-Gwyn, Mayhill, Mount Pleasant, Townhill 3 8,443 1.8 4,691
34 Uplands Uplands Brynmill, St. Helens, Cwmgwyn, Ffynone and The Lons, Uplands 4 13,355 2.31 5,781
35 Upper Loughor Llwchwr* (Upper Loughor ward) Loughor 1 2,845 1.61 1,767
36 West Cross Mumbles* (West Cross ward) Manselfield, Norton, Mumbles and Newton, West Cross

Remove Manselfield from the West Cross Ward. It is within the Bishopston Ward. As shown.

2 6,475 2.48 2,611

*1 - 2001 Census

Corporate identityEdit


The logo of the City and County of Swansea depicts a stylised Osprey. It is shown with the name of the council written beneath it or beside it, both in Welsh (Cyngor Abertawe) and English (Swansea Council). An older version of the logo displayed the text written in a ring around the Osprey pictogram.

Coat of armsEdit

The official coat of arms used by the council today were granted by the College of Arms in 1922. The motto is 'Floreat Swansea'.

The Arms are blazoned as follows:

Per Fess wavy Azure and barry wavy of six Argent, of the first a double-towered Castle or, in Chief on an Inescutcheon of the third a Lion passant guardant Gules; And for the Crest, On a Wreath of the Colours an Osprey rising holding in the Beak a Fish proper; Supporters: on the dexter side a Lion Gules gorged with a Mural Crown or, and on the sinister side a Dragon Gules gorged with a Mural Crown or'.

The Arms are symbolic to an extent: the blue and white wavy bars represent the sea, since Swansea is a port town; the Castle represents the Medieval fortifications of the Town; the lion as dexter supporter and on the Inescutcheon commemorates the link with the de Breos family; and the dragon as sinister supporter is the National Emblem of Wales and is a supporter in the Achievement of Arms of the present Lord Swansea.

In April 1974, the City of Swansea was merged with the Gower Rural District to form the new District and City of Swansea. The Arms granted to the Corporation of the County Borough of Swansea in 1922 were transferred unchanged to the new City Council in May 1975. The Certificate of Transfer of the College of Arms dated 11 March 1976 confirmed the re-granting of the Arms. With the 1996 reorganisation of local government, the arms were transferred a second time to the present City Council.[17]

Local education authorityEdit

The council serves as the local education authority for schools based within the unitary authority area.

Council premisesEdit

Civic Centre overlooking Swansea Bay

See alsoEdit


  1. ^[bare URL]
  2. ^[bare URL]
  3. ^ "Swansea Welsh Unitary Council Election Results 1995-2012" (PDF). Elections Centre. Plymouth University. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Political make up of the Council". Swansea Council. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Labour increases Swansea lead and holds Neath Port Talbot". BBC News. 5 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Vote 2012 - Swansea". BBC News. 4 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Local Election Results 2012 - Swansea". Local Elections Archive Project (Andrew Teale).
  8. ^ "Local Election Results 2008 - Swansea". Local Elections Archive Project (Andrew Teale).
  9. ^ "Swansea council - Lab lose to NOC". BBC News. 11 June 2004.
  10. ^ "Local Election Results 2004 - Swansea". Local Elections Archive Project (Andrew Teale).
  11. ^ "Rob Stewart set to lead Labour-ruling Swansea council". BBC News. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ "New Lord Mayor for Swansea". City of Swansea. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Lord Mayor of Swansea". City of Swansea. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Ceinwen Thomas installed as the new mayor of Swansea". South Wales Evening Post. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  15. ^ "New Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor for Swansea". South Wales Evening Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  16. ^ a b c "Records relating to the Mayor/Lord Mayor of Swansea". Swansea City Council. Archived from the original on 1 May 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  17. ^ The Local Authorities (Armorial Bearings) (No. 2) (Wales) Order 1996 (1996 No. 1930 ) (OPSI website), accessed October 2, 2007

External linksEdit