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Local Authorities  

Local Authority

Premiercallcentre.co.uk UK's leading website, acts as a 'one stop' shop by providing local authority information with the most essential and relevant news, and communications. We act as a signpost to help you to be informed about the UK’s local authority structure that is set up on this country. We are here to ensure the best procedures that you can trust.

Definition of a Local Authority

The Local Authority term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or (where appropriate) federal government. In modern nations, local governments usually have fewer powers than national governments do. They usually have some power to raise taxes, though these may be limited by central legislation. In some countries local government is partly or wholly funded by subventions from central government taxation. The question of Municipal Autonomy—which powers the local government has, or should have, and why—is a key question of public administration and governance. The institutions of local government vary greatly between countries, and even where similar arrangements exist, the terminology often varies. Common names for local government entities include state, province, region, department, county, prefecture, district, city, township, town, borough, parish, municipality, shire and village. However all these names are often used informally in countries where they do not describe a legal local government entity?

Articles on each country will usually contain some information about local government, or links to an article with fuller information. The rest of this article gives information or links for countries where a relatively full description is available.

The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved parliament.

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England is subdivided on different levels

The top level of local government within England is the nine regions. Each region has a government office and assorted other institutions. Only the London region has a directly elected administration. Only one other regional referendum has been held to date to seek consent for the introduction direct elections elsewhere - in the northeast of England - and this was soundly rejected by the electorate.

The layers of government below the regions are mixed

Historic counties still exist with adapted boundaries, although in the 1990s some of the districts within the counties became separate unitary authorities and a few counties have been disbanded completely. There are also metropolitan districts in some areas which are similar to unitary authorities. In Greater London there are 32 London boroughs which are a similar concept.

Counties are further divided into districts (also known as boroughs in some areas). Districts are divided into wards for electoral purposes. Districts may also contain parishes and town council areas with a small administration of their own. Other area classifications are also in use, such as health service and Lord-Lieutenant areas.

City of London Corporation

The City of London covers a square mile (2.6 km²) in the heart of London. It is governed by the City of London Corporation, which has a unique structure. The Corporation has been broadly untouched by local government reforms and democratization. The business vote was abolished for other parts of the country in 1969, but due to the low resident population of the City this was thought impractical. In fact, the business vote was recently extended in the City to cover more companies.

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