Delivering Prudent Healthcare in Wales »Prudent healthcare principles ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatments to achieve mutually-agreed goals.Learn more »
Heart disease falling in Wales, new report reveals
- Welsh Government’s Nest scheme helps another 5,000 people in fuel poverty with their energy bills
- Welsh Government support will accelerate job creation in Wrexham
Featured Article »Landmark Social Services law receives Royal Assent
- Heart disease falling in Wales, new report reveals
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Amending the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 to transpose Article 38 of the Offshore Safety Directive
- Extending access to intermediary services for descendants and relatives of adopted people
- Renting Homes – Illustrative Model Contract
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- The Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
- Active Travel Action Plan
Featured consultation »Draft Technical Advice Note 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies
72 days left
Section highlightThe Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill
The Bill aims to improve the Public Sector response in Wales to gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - June 2014
Our pipeline provides visibility of infrastructure investment activity across Wales.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
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 four 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 £7 billion 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 per cent 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.