What is local government?
As well as having Parliament and the Government who are responsible for running the whole country, we also have local government in each area.
This is usually called the council, and there are councils for every area in the country. This means that each city and most towns have their own council.
The council is responsible for making decisions about things that affect their local area.
Who are local politicians?
The people who decide how the council is run are called local politicians.
Local politicians are ordinary people who decide they want to help make decisions about local services.
There are different types of local politician and they are called local councillors, town councillors, or parish councillors. What they are called depends on the area the councillor works in.
How councils work
Each council has money to spend on services for people in their area.
These services are things like collecting the rubbish, running libraries, repairing the roads and pavements, and looking after local parks and museums.
Councils also have responsibility for housing and social services in their area.
These services are there for local people who may need support in their lives.
For example, some people might need support to live independently, or with getting about in their community. Some people may need support because of a disability.
To pay for these services the council gets some money from the Government, and they also collect money from local people, which is called council tax.
Local councillors have the job of deciding how to spend this money and which services to provide for local people.
Local councillors discuss these things in meetings and set up groups, called committees, to make important decisions about these services.
How to contact your local council
You can contact your local councillor about local issues if you want to. You may have more than one councillor in your area. You can write to them, email them or arrange to meet them.
You can go to a council meeting if you want to and see how councillors make decisions.
Find out more
You can find out who your local councillors are by going to www.writetothem.com.