County Councils make up the highest tier of local government and provide a range of public services which are typically more strategically focused, as opposed to the more ‘day-to-day’ nature of the work of District Level Authorities. Their area of control usually corresponds with the geographical boundaries of Counties.
Councillors are elected to County Council Seats as Representatives of ‘Divisions’. Divisions typically cover the same area as several District Level Authority Wards, which themselves typically cover a multiple of Parish Wards. (where they exist)
The responsibilities of County Councils include:
- Education (The Local Education Authority)
- Adult Education
- School Buildings & Infrastructure
- Highways (Minor roads and the major roads not under the control of the Highways Agency)
- Footpaths and Public Rights of Way
- Waste Disposal Strategy (Rubbish disposal sites, waste incinerators etc)
- Social Services
- Public Transport
- Education Transport
- Transport Planning
- Strategic Planning
- Emergency Planning
- 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’
Elections are rarely uncontested and most County Councils 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.
image thanks to express.co.uk