As the tier of government closest to the people, local councils have been an important part of our community governance since 1894. Local councils strive to improve 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.
Our local councils serve electorates ranging from small rural communities to large towns and cities, are independently elected and raise a precept from the local community, with annual expenditure totalling around £600 million.
Over 15 million people live in communities served by local councils, this is around 35% of the population, whilst over 200 new local councils have been created in the last 10 years.
Through a range of powers, local councils can provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services from allotments to bus shelters, community transport schemes through to crime reduction measures, providing leisure facilities and local youth projects, maintaining open spaces and village greens and from tourism activities through to providing litter bins. This extensive range of existing powers were recently strengthened by the extension of the well being power to eligible local councils.