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.
|Arts and recreation||Counties and districts|
|Museums and galleries||Counties and districts|
|Tourism||Counties and districts|
|Cemeteries and crematoria||Districts|
|Fire & emergency managementservice||Counties|
|Footpaths (create, protect)||Counties and districts|
|Footpaths (maintain, signs)||Counties|
|Markets and fairs||Districts|
|Planning||Counties and districts|
|Police||Counties and districts|
|Traffic and highways||Counties and districts|
|Public transport||Counties and districts|
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.