2 minutes

How Local Councils are Organised and Funded

The UK government delivers its services and performs its duties through local government divisions, also known as councils. Councils responsibilities are defined by legislation for which the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is responsible.

Councils have a very important responsibility. Namely, they look after the economic, social, and environmental well being of their allocated region.


  • Work with residents to find out what they need
  • Work alongside other government bodies to determine local priorities, and how these needs reflect wider, national concerns
  • Provide numerous services, directly or indirectly

Local councils deliver services through their employees or by employing the services of other organisations.

Local Government Structure

The structure of local government varies from area to area. In total, there are five possible types of local authority in England. These are:

Local Government and Public Spending

Local government accounts for about 25% of all UK public spending. The three main sources of income for English local governments are:

  • Government grants – 55%
  • Council tax – 25%
  • Redistributed business rates – 19%
  • Miscellaneous returns on borrowing and investments, interest and capital receipts, sales, fees and charges and council rent

But what services do local councils cover, and how much responsibility do they have?

Services Offered by Local Governments and Councils

Local government councils deliver many services, but these are the most important.