Understanding Local Government

This is a new website which will in due course provide easily accessible information about the structure and working practices of local government in the UK.

The systems and patterns of local government are not consistent across the UK.  The devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differ between themselves as well as being fundamentally different from the pattern in England.  

Structure and Organisation

There are in principle four types of local authority, though there are marked differences within each typology.

In addition, within more rural areas a lower tier of council exists – the Parish and Town Council,

Follow this link for further detail.

Council Services

This area of the website is under development.

Local Government Finance

The 2018 National Audit Office report - The Sustainability of Local Authority Finances  - provides an excellent if depressing introduction to this subject.  Its key points are:

How Decisions Are Made

This area of the website is under development.

Councillors, Voters and the Public

This area of the website is under development.

Jonathan Myerson wrote an entertaining and informative description ( Stranger than Fiction ) of his time as a Councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth between 2002 and 2006.

What Next? How Might Local Government develop?


Other Sources of Information

A sensible first place to look will be the website of the Local Government Association.

My Understanding Policy-Making website summarises best policy-making practice, including consultation, analysis and speaking truth to power.

Further information about these websites, and my contact details, are here.


Martin Stanley

Spotted something wrong?
Please do drop me an email if you spot anything that is out-of-date, or any other errors, typos or faulty links.