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About the Council

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Facts And Stats

Bristol is the 7th largest city in England outside of London and the economic capital of the South West.

The City Council administers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 square miles) and serves a resident population of 432,500 people (2012 estimate), while the city also serves the wider city region area – known as the West of England - with a population of nearly 1.1 million people.

The distribution of council seats is now as follows:

Labour 28
Liberal Democrats 23
Conservatives 14
Green Party 4
Independence for Bristol 1

This important relationship between the city and its surrounding sub-region has been recognised in the creation of a West of England Partnership with the neighbouring authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Bristol is home to over 17,500 businesses and is renowned for its excellence in knowledge-intensive and creative industries. More than a third of the UK owned FTSE 100 companies have a significant presence in the Bristol area. World class companies including Airbus in the UK, Rolls-Royce, Aardman Animations, BBC, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba Research Europe, Garrad Hassan and Orange have premises in the area

In 2006 Gross Value Added (GVA) per head in ‘Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset’ (a ‘NUTS 2’ area which includes both Bristol and Swindon) was the most productive area in the South West region and the second most productive area in England (outside of London). The sub-region functions relatively well and is economically strong. It was 20% more productive than the region’s average, 8% more than the England average.

Bristol City Council became a unitary authority in 1996. It has 70 Councillors representing 35 wards; annual elections for a third of all councillors are held three years out of every four.

Bristol is a multi-ethnic city with a wide representation of Black and minority ethnic communities (16% ONS 2011 Census) and diverse faith communities.
For details of the 2010-15 People Strategy for Bristol City Council please click the link below:

Click for details

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