Report by the Commission on Devolution in Wales »We hope that this Report will give us the foundation for a fundamental reform of the devolution settlement.Learn more »
Pilots in Ceredigion and Vale of Glamorgan to find new ways to deliver public transport
Funding to trial new, more efficient methods of delivering public transport to improve access to jobs and services, particularly in rural areas.
- European investment helps bring Superfast Broadband to Wales – Jane Hutt
- Genpower to create 35 new jobs in Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone with Welsh Government support
Featured Article »Landmark social care Bill passes National Assembly scrutiny
- Pilots in Ceredigion and Vale of Glamorgan to find new ways to deliver public transport
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
- Proposals concerning the publication of Sustainable Development Indicators statistical outputs
- Consultation on the regulations to introduce a new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme in Wales from April 2015
- Onshore oil exploration activities: integrated pollution prevention and control
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- Consultation on the findings of the report on the Impact and Effect of the Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2010.
- Achieving high standards together - a new framework for animal health and welfare in Wales
Featured consultation »Curriculum for Wales: Phase 1 - revised literacy and numeracy arrangements
50 days left
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
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 - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2013-14 »
The 2nd Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2013-14, which was published on 25 June 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
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.