National School Categorisation System »This new system is not purely data-driven but also takes into account the leadership, teaching and learning that goes on in our schools.Learn more »
Welsh Government and Welsh Liberal Democrats: Joint Statement on Two-Year Budget agreement
The Welsh Government and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have today reached a ground-breaking multi-million pound two-year agreement.
- Welsh Government announces a “flying doctors” service for Wales
- Deputy Minister in Scotland to capitalise on Wales’ Ryder Cup legacy
- Welsh Government and Welsh Liberal Democrats: Joint Statement on Two-Year Budget agreement
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
- Implementing the Emissions Performance Standard: Monitoring and Enforcement Arrangements in England and Wales
- Collection and management of devolved taxes in Wales
- Draft 10-year plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce in Wales
- Reservoir Safety in Wales: Consultation on the Commencement of Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010
- Devolution, Democracy and Delivery White Paper – Reforming Local Government
- Consultation on improving the availability of allotments and community gardens
Featured consultation »Draft 10-year plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce
76 days left
Section highlightHousing (Wales) Act 2014The Act introduces significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightWales for Africa grant
The Wales for Africa grant supports projects that build mutually beneficial links between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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.