Nottinghamshire has a two-tier system of local government. This means that, no matter where you live in the county (excluding the city of Nottingham*), services are actually shared between two, and sometimes three, councils.
*Nottingham City Council is a unitary authority and is responsible for all local government services. Visit their website at: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk.
Nottinghamshire County Council is a first-tier local authority. £697m a year is spent providing services – 65% of the money coming in the form of Government grants, the remaining 35% from Council Tax.
The County Council is responsible for services such as:
- homes for older people
- meals on wheels
- children’s homes
- social workers
- roads and street lights
- waste and recycling
- country parks
- trading standards
- registrars for births, deaths and marriages
- community safety
- emergency management
- youth offending service
- welfare rights
The second tier is made up of seven District Councils, which are responsible for functions such as:
- collecting council tax
- pest control
- refuse collection
- parks and leisure centres.
District councils, collectively, spend £84m a year providing these services.
In some areas of the county there may also be a third tier – a Town or Parish Council.
Many, but not all, parishes have their own council, sometimes, if small, linking with neighbouring parishes. Some bigger areas, such as Newark and Bingham, have a town council instead of a parish one. Some built-up areas, such as Beeston, Hucknall and Mansfield, have no parishes.
Parish and Town councils have a wide range of functions and are the most local form of democratically elected local government.
Collectively, they spend £4m a year on:
- recreational facilities
- parks and open spaces
- public conveniences
- car parks
- village halls and community facilities.
In addition to county, district and parish or town councils there are other organisations which provide services to the public: The Highways Agency, Department of Work and Pensions, Health Authorities, Learning and Skills Council – and there are many more - are all funded by public money.
The main difference between local authorities (councils) and other public bodies is that councils are controlled by councillors who are elected by the public. Elections are held every four years.