The structure of local government varies from area to area in England. In some areas there are two layers or tiers:
- a County or Shire Council as the upper tier and
- a District, Borough or City Council as the lower tier.
In other areas there is just a single tier made up of a ‘Unitary Authority’. Unitary Authorities may have adopted any of these names. In London each borough is a Unitary Administration with a status similar to that of Metropolitan Districts, with the London Assembly providing strategic, city-wide government.
A Local Authority is responsible for a range of services for both individuals and business which include:
- Health Services
- Social Services
- Waste disposal, recycling and collection
- Trading standards
- Roads, highways and transportation
- Environmental Health
- Approving planning applications
- Enforcing health, safety, environment and trading standards requirements etc
From April 2013:
- Local Authorities are responsible for protecting and improving health and wellbeing.
For the purposes of the Organisation Data Service, the definition for a ‘Local Authority' Organisation is based on (but is not exactly the same as) the definition given within the Local Government Act, as follows:
A “Local Authority”, in relation to England is:
- a County Council
- a District Council
- a London Borough Council
- the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a Local Authority
- the Council of the Isles of Scilly
Note that the Scotland Councils and Northern Ireland Councils are not included within the Organisation Data Service data set.
This supporting information is also known by these names: