Local Government Database

Local Government:

The Local Government database covers all Councillors, Senior and Mid-Level Management Posts and key lower level functional positions across all UK Councils. This database also covers Police and Fire Services, plus Parks, Transport and Combined Authorities.

The structure of Local Authorities varies across England/Scotland/Wales and Northern Ireland and also in different areas of England. Following major re-organisation in 1995 Wales and Scotland merged all their District and County Councils creating a single Authority for each area; these are known as Unitary Authorities and provide all Council functions. In England, although some reorganisation took place, there continued to be a mixture of 'single tier' authorities - Unitary / Metropolitan / London Boroughs. With the rest of the Country covered by 'Two Tier' authorities - English Country Councils and District Councils; where functions are divided between the two authority types. Further re-organisation took place in 2007 with a number of County and District Councils being replaced with single Unitary Councils.

The following table shows how functions vary between authority types:

Single Tier Two Tier
  Metropolitan London Boroughs Unitary County English District
Education * * * *  
Environmental Health * * *   *
Highways * * * *  
Housing * * *   *
Libraries * * * *  
Planning * * *   *
Recreation/Leisure * * *   *
Refuse Collection * * *   *
Refuse Disposal     * *  
Social Care * * * *  

Local Authority functions are divided up within each authority into a number of Departments, with the smaller District Councils tending to have two to three departments and Mets/Unitaries/Counties/Boroughs having four to five. Councils are run based on edicts, rules and legal requirements created by Central Government, though they have autonomy in how they provide these functions and how they organize themselves. Consequently all Councils are organized somewhat differently. The autonomy of the individual departments varies from one authority to another and from one authority type to another. Often it depends on the overall configuration of the organisation. Though it is often the case that with larger authorities it is often worth considering the departments as quite separate from each other, often they are based at different addresses, with different functions and separate departmental purchasing/finance and other corporate functions.

Local Authorities are funded by a combination of local tax revenue, grants from the Central Government, Investments and Financial Reserves, plus and other Local charges. It has recently been decided that Councils will directly keep the revenue from Business Rates from 2014.

Political Control of Councils The following details the different ways in which Councils are controlled.

Overall Control - Most commonly a single political party has the majority of Councillors, and therefore that party controls the Council.

No Overall Control - In some instances, not one single party will have a majority/sufficient majority of Councillors/. In these cases, two or more parties may share power (e.g. a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition).

Non Political - A small number of councils are "non-political" and whilst individuals may identify themselves with political parties or call themselves "Independent", there will be no official groups and committee chairs or cabinet posts will be shared. In these councils the Chairman of the Council will carry significant influence (In most other instances, the Chairman of the Council or the Mayor is more likely to perform more of a figurehead role, representing the Council on ceremonial occasions).

Executive Mayors - A handful of councils are led by directly elected or Executive Mayors, whose role is to provide much more direct political direction to the councils work.

Types of contacts

Local Government Officers - Officers are employed by the Council to run the organisation. They co-ordinate and provide services and in most instances purchase and commission goods and services. The database covers all Chief Executives, Corporate/Top Directors and Second Tier/Heads of Service Posts. Plus, approximately 10000 key functional/departmental posts.

Local Government Councillors - Councillors are politicians elected to take policy decisions and are not usually involved in technical decisions or matters of detail. The most influential members of the Council are the Council and Group Leaders ,Cabinet Members and/or the Chairs and Vice Chairs of Committees responsible for overseeing the major functions of the Council.

Councillors' home addresses and telephone numbers are normally provided, except where either the individual or the Local Authority has asked that all mail should be sent to an official address - this often happens with Council and Group Leaders and Cabinet members, who spend a lot of time at their town hall.

Each councillor is categorised both by their political affiliation and that of the council on which he or she sits (so that it is possible to identify, for example, all Conservative councillors on Labour controlled councils).

Retirement/re-election dates and date when first elected (if after 1993) are given. Retirement dates are subject to change following boundary commission reviews.

Cabinet Role/Committee Functions are also provided to identify either the Cabinet/Executive member or the Chairman of the committee responsible for a wide range of functions.

The database is extensively categorised by organisation type/level of management and has nearly 600 functional categories for both Officers and Councillors. The details of these are all available below. The number of contacts and depth of information is constantly being expanded with new functions and statutory positions. Department names and numbers of employees are also a recent addition to the database

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Breakdown of the Oscar Local Government Database

Counts and coverage is shown by the key selection areas of the database. The figures are re-calculated every 24 hours based on the latest research.

Local government organisation types breakdown

Local government categories and functions breakdown

Local government seniority breakdown

Local government regional breakdown