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Functions and responsibilities

Gloucestershire is administered by three levels of council: 1. County, 2. City/District/Borough, 3. Parish/Town.

Local Government functions and responsibilities are governed by Acts of Parliament - principally the The Local Government Act 1972 - but the basic division of functions between county and districts is shown in the table below.



Allotments Districts
Arts and recreation Counties and districts
Libraries Counties
Museums and galleries Counties and districts
Tourism Counties and districts
Cemeteries and crematoria Districts
Consumer protection Counties
Education Counties
Environmental health Districts
Refuse collection Districts
Fire & emergency managementservice Counties
Footpaths (create, protect) Counties and districts
Footpaths (maintain, signs) Counties
Housing Districts
Licence duty Districts
Markets and fairs Districts
Planning Counties and districts
Local plans Districts
Structure plans Counties
National parks Counties
Police Counties and districts
Rate collection Districts
Smallholdings Counties
Social services Counties
Traffic and highways Counties and districts
Public transport Counties and districts
Transport planning Counties

The six districts in Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Borough Council Cotswold District Council Forest of Dean District Council
Gloucester City Council Stroud District Council Tewkesbury Borough Council

Parish and town councils

Responsible for some of the local issues, such as:

  • The provision and upkeep of certain local facilities such as allotments, bus shelters, parks, playgrounds, public seats, public toilets, public clocks, street lights, village or town halls, and various leisure and recreation facilities.
  • Maintenance of footpaths, cemeteries and village greens
  • Since 1997 parish councils have had new powers to provide community transport (such as a minibus), crime prevention measures (such as CCTV) and to contribute money towards traffic calming schemes.
  • Parish councils are supposed to act as a channel of local opinion to larger local government bodies, and as such have the right to be consulted on any planning decisions affecting the parish.
  • Giving of grants to local voluntary organisations, and sponsoring public events, including entering Britain in Bloom.

The role played by parish councils varies. Smaller parish councils have only limited resources and generally play only a minor role, while some larger parish councils have a role similar to that of a small district council. Parish councils receive funding by levying a "precept" on the council tax paid by the residents of the parish.

You can find details of the parishes in Gloucestershire on the Association of Parish & Town Councils (GAPTC) web site.

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