avon bedfordshire berkshire buckinghamshire cambridgeshire cheshire cleveland cornwall cumbria derbyshire devon dorset durham essex east sussex gloucestershire hampshire herefordshire hertfordshire humberside isle of wight kent lancashire leicestershire lincolnshire london manchester merseyside norfolk northern ireland northamptonshire northumberland north yorkshire nottinghamshire oxford scotland somerset shropshire south yorkshire staffordshire suffolk surrey tyne and wear wales warwickshire westmidlands west sussex west yorkshire wiltshire worcestershire
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Local government in the united kingdom

Local government in the United Kingdom is divided into layers. Depending upon the area, the main functions of local government are run by either one or two level (tiers) of council. Single tier local government is provided by london borough, metropolitan or unitary councils. Two tier local government is provided by a mixture of county and district/borough councils.

While county councils look after one county, district and borough councils look after even smaller areas.

At the even more local level, parish, town, rural or community councils provide a range of services to a very small area. The services provided by each tier of local government differ.

  • County councils provide (among others):
    archives, education, highways, libraries, social services, strategic planning, trading standards, tourism (some), waste disposal.
  • District/borough councils provide (among others):
    building regulations, environmental health, housing (some) museums, parking (some), local planning, recreational and leisure facilities (most), tourism (most), waste collection.
  • Towns/parishes provide (among others):
    allotments, burial grounds, bus shelters, community centres, public conveniences, parking (some), recreational facilities (some), war memorials.

London borough, metropolitan or unitary councils combine the services of both county and district councils.

Local government in scotland and wales has been reorganised such that the main tier of local government is provided by unitary councils.

As of January 2007, all of the 467 local authorities in the United Kingdom have web sites.

All of these councils have elected members.

One of the best sources of information about how local government works is the uk local government site www.idea.gov.uk. Another worth looking at is www.lga.gov.uk, the local government association.

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