About Levels of Government
What is a UK Local Authority?
A UK Local Authority (often called a local council) is an elected body that provides a range of services for a particular geographical area in the United Kingdom.
- In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and most urban areas of England there are unitary authorities. This means one council provides all the range of local services.
- In most rural and small town areas there are two tiers. A County Council is responsible for areas such as adult social care, transport and education. District Councils are responsible for other services such as refuse collection.
- In London there is a Greater London Authority. This covers the whole area. The Greater London Authority deals with, for example, London Transport, the Police and large planning developments. There are 32 Borough Councils which deal with services such as education, adult social care and refuse collection.
- At a very local level in rural and small town areas there are town and parish councils in England and community councils in Wales with limited powers
- In 2010, the Coalition Government between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties created elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). PCC’s are in England, except London. Their remit is for areas larger than local authorities and they are responsible for the police force.