Borough or District Councils (District Level Authorities)

Bin LorryBorough or District Councils provide the administrative hubs of local government. They oversee and manage a wide range of the public services that voters experience on a regular basis and hold key responsibilities for our local environment.

Councillors are elected to Borough or District Council Seats as Representatives of ‘Wards’. Wards typically cover the same area as a multiple of Parish Council Wards (where they exist).

District Level Authorities typically provide Electoral Services for ALL public elections, irrespective of the Tier of Government through their Democratic Services Departments, and it will be this authority that you will need to contact regarding the process and requirements to become a candidate in an election in the location over which the authority presides.

The responsibilities of District Level Authorities include:

  • Planning
  • Building Control
  • Licensing (Sale of Alcohol, Taxi & Private Hire, Scrap Metal Collection, Gambling, Sex Shops, Street Trading)
  • Housing
  • Environmental Health
  • Refuse & Recycling collections
  • Maintaining Parks & Green Spaces
  • Street Cleansing
  • Setting the Council’s Annual Budget or ‘Precept’ – the amount every household contributes to the running of the Council, which is paid as part of their ‘Council Tax’
  • Electoral Services (non-political)
  • Flood Prevention & Emergency Planning
  • The collection and redistribution of Council Tax
  • Community facilities (Sports halls, swimming pools, public toilets, car parks)

District Level Authorities are perceived by many in politics to be where responsibility really begins. Elections are rarely uncontested and most Councils at this level are under the control of a Political Group, or made up of Members who have been elected as representatives of well known Political Parties.

Once elected, Members usually have the opportunity to join various committees and contribute in different roles with varying levels of responsibility, depending on the structure of the Council. Some of these, such as those with Licensing or Planning responsibility are considered apolitical and quasi-judicial in nature.


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