Wales politics

Local government: Who is running Wales' 22 councils?

Wales council map

Local elections were held across Wales two months ago - but it is only now that we have a picture of which parties are running which councils.

When a party wins a majority of councillors on an authority, unless there is something very unexpected, that group will take control.

But in May, a total of ten out of the 22 authorities came out of the elections with no one group having overall control, meaning it was not initially clear how those councils would be governed.

It can take time before negotiations between councillors complete and an authority is formed - but we are now able to bring you a list of which groups are in control and where.

North Wales

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Plaid has the largest groups on both councils on either side of the Menai Strait

Isle of Anglesey - Plaid Cymru/Independent coalition

Conwy - Independent/Conservative coalition

Denbighshire - Conservative/Independent coalition

Flintshire - Labour minority administration

Gwynedd - Plaid Cymru majority administration

Wrexham - Independent/Conservative coalition

Mid and West Wales

Image copyright Geograph/Jeff Gogarty
Image caption Carmarthenshire is run by a Plaid/Independent coalition

Carmarthenshire - Plaid/Independent coalition

Ceredigion - Plaid/Independent coalition

Pembrokeshire - Independent majority administration

Powys - Independent/Conservative coalition

South Wales

Image copyright Geograph/Colin Smith
Image caption Labour runs Cardiff Council

Blaenau Gwent - Independent-run council

Bridgend - Labour minority administration

Caerphilly - Labour majority administration

Cardiff - Labour majority administration

Monmouthshire - Conservative majority administration

Merthyr Tydfil - Independent majority administration

Neath Port Talbot - Labour majority administration

Newport - Labour majority administration

Rhondda Cynon Taf - Labour majority administration

Swansea - Labour majority administration

Torfaen - Labour majority administration

Vale of Glamorgan - Conservative minority administration*

*A Labour-led coalition with independents subsequently took control in May 2019

How do councils work?

Decisions in councils are taken by groups of senior councillors called cabinets.

These include a leader while other members are given different jobs, known as portfolios, which cover the responsibilities of the authority.

There are usually, at the very least, cabinet members responsible for education, social services, waste services, housing, transport and regeneration.

If a party has not won overall control of an authority but has the largest number of councillors, it can form a coalition with one or more other groups.

It is also possible to run a minority administration if, for example, the largest group believes it can pass decisions in the authority despite not having a majority of councillors.

This can happen if the ruling group has the effective support of other councillors.

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