Contingency planning for winter weather »Severe weather requires robust, collaborative planning between the Welsh Government and the public and private sectors in Wales.Learn more »
Health Minister gives go-ahead for standardised packaging for cigarettes to be introduced in Wales
A new law to introduce standardised packaging for cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco will apply in Wales, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
- School Categorisation results published
- Survey on Welsh language use welcomed
- Health Minister gives go-ahead for standardised packaging for cigarettes to be introduced in Wales
- Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Consultation – UK Marine Programme of Measures
- Raising the ambitions and educational attainment of children who are looked after in Wales
- Review of requirements for the trading of captive bred birds
- Harmonising school term dates for 2016 to 2017
- Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 – Consultation on the Regulations and code of practice in relation to part 11 of the Act.
- Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to Part 2 of the Act
Featured consultation »Aligning the apprenticeship model to the needs of the Welsh economy
83 days left
Section highlightQualifications Wales BillThe Bill will establish Qualifications Wales as an independent regulator for qualifications and the qualification system in Wales.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update
This 6th edition details over 370 investments across both public and private sectors with a value of more than £40bn.
Final Budget 2015-16 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2015-16 is £15·3bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
- European Social Fund Local Service Board development and priority delivery project
- Evaluation of the Choose Pharmacy common ailments service
- Housing demolitions and hazards
- Regional economic and labour market profiles
- Welsh Government People Survey
- Welsh language use survey
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
Wales’ 22 unitary authorities (county and county borough councils) deliver a wide range of services.
Some, for example education, must be made available under UK and Welsh law; others are provided at the discretion of individual authorities. A typical list of local authority services would include:
- trading standards
- libraries, leisure and tourism
- environmental health, refuse and recycling
- transport and highways
- social services.
While the history of local government in Wales stretches back at least to the 16th century, the existing 22 Welsh single-tier, unitary authorities date from 1996. They are not divided into county and district councils, as local authorities are in much of England. On a more local level, community and town councils provide services in their immediate areas.
All local authorities are democratically accountable through elections held every 4 years. Local authorities have a cabinet-style executive with the dominant political group or coalition making decisions under the scrutiny of the council as a whole. They have extensive staff structures headed by a chief executive, who works with other senior officers on day-to-day business and decision-making.
Local authority funding and policy
Welsh unitary authorities spend almost £7bn a year on their services. The sums making up this total vary considerably between larger authorities such as Cardiff and smaller ones like Merthyr Tydfil and Anglesey. The Welsh Government provides around 80% of unitary authority revenue funding, whilst council tax makes up most of the remainder.
The Welsh Government sets the broad policy agenda for local authorities in Wales, but avoids using its powers to control how they operate. Our work with local authorities is firmly on the basis of partnership. Local authorities also work in close partnership with other bodies, such as the NHS and the police.
All unitary authorities in Wales are members of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). The WLGA represents their collective views and interests and advises and supports individual authorities. The Welsh Government funds some WLGA projects, such as its work on equality and service improvement.
Working in Partnership provides information about the working relationship between the Welsh Government and local authorities.