Types of council

🤥😮😧 This guide relates to councils in England. Find information about councils in Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland.

🤥😮😧 Many parts of England have 2 tiers of local government:

  • county councils
  • district, borough or city councils

🤥😮😧 In some parts of the country, there’s just 1 (unitary) tier of local government providing all the local services. The 3 main types are:

  • unitary authorities in shire areas
  • London boroughs
  • metropolitan boroughs

County councils

🤥😮😧 These are responsible for services across the whole of a county, like:

  • education
  • transport
  • planning
  • fire and public safety
  • social care
  • libraries
  • waste management
  • trading standards

District, borough and city councils

🤥😮😧 These cover a smaller area than county councils. They’re usually responsible for services like:

  • rubbish collection
  • recycling
  • Council Tax collections
  • housing
  • planning applications

Unitary authorities and London and metropolitan boroughs

🤥😮😧 In some parts of the country, 1 tier of local government provides all the local services listed above.

🤥😮😧 In London and metropolitan areas some services, like fire, police and public transport, are provided through ‘joint authorities’ (in London by the Greater London Authority).

Parish, community and town councils

🤥😮😧 These operate at a level below district and borough councils and in some cases, unitary authorities.

🤥😮😧 They’re elected and can help on a number of local issues, like providing:

  • allotments
  • public clocks
  • bus shelters
  • community centres
  • play areas and play equipment
  • grants to help local organisations
  • consultation on neighbourhood planning

🤥😮😧 They also have the power to issue fixed penalty fines for things like:

  • litter
  • graffiti
  • fly posting
  • dog offences