Gloucester is split into 18 wards, with a total of 39 councillors elected to serve on the City Council. Following the last election in 2016 there were 22 Conservative Councillors, 10 Labour Councilors, and 7 Liberal Democrat councillors.
The district was formed from the County Borough of Gloucester on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The parish of Quedgeley was subsequently added in 1991. As of 24 April 2017, Quedgeley is now classed as a town.
Gloucester City Council collects council tax and has main functions of:
Gloucester is the county town of Gloucestershire, and is the 53rd largest settlement in the United Kingdom by population. In 2002, its population was 110,600. It has the traditional lowest bridging point of the longest river in Great Britain, connecting it with Over. The 2011 census recorded that the city had a population of 121,921 and by 2016 its population was estimated to be 128,488. The city's urban area extends beyond its boundaries, with several outlying districts. The 2011 census gave the population of the Gloucester Urban Area as 150,053, absorbing areas such as Brockworth and Churchdown.
The city is located on the eastern bank of the River Severn, sheltered by the Cotswolds to the east, while the Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills rise to the west and north, respectively. Gloucester is a port, linked via the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal which runs from Gloucester's docks to the Severn Estuary, allowing larger ships to reach the docks than would be possible on the tidal reaches of the river itself, which go well north of the city to Haw Bridge. The wharfs, warehouses and the docks themselves fell into disrepair until their renovation in the 1980s. They now form a public open space. Some warehouses now house the Gloucester Waterways Museum, others were converted into residential flats, shops and bars. Additionally, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum is located in the Custom House. Next to the museum is Gloucester Yacht Club. The port still houses the most inland RNLI lifeboat in the United Kingdom.