About local councils

There are currently around 8,500 local councils and around 80,000 councillors representing and serving their communities in England. Together, they can be identified as the nation’s single most influential grouping of grassroots opinion-formers.

Local councils are all independently elected and have powers to raise their own funds from their communities through precept, with a total annual expenditure in the region of £400 million. Local councils also provide employment for over 25,000 staff.

Over 15 million people, about a third of the population, live in communities served by local councils, with electorates ranging from small rural communities to major cities. In the last 10 years over 200 new local councils have been created.

Local councils work towards improving community well-being and providing better services at a local level. Their work falls into three main categories:

– representing the local community;

– delivering services to meet local needs;

– striving to improve quality of life in the community.

Local councils provide and maintain a range of services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, commons, community transport schemes, crime reduction measures, footpaths, leisure facilities, local youth projects, open spaces, public lavatories, planning, street cleaning, street lighting, tourism activities, traffic calming measures, village greens and litter bins.

New powers will enable local councils to broaden the scope of services provided to their communities.

Find out more about local councils at the NALC website at http://www.nalc.gov.uk/Publications/Booklets_and_Resources.aspx

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