How local government works

There are 12 unitary councils in the North East, each providing a wide range of services for the people in their communities.

People often focus on those services you see when you open your front door such as litter collection, grass cutting, gritting, the condition of roads and pavements, street lighting and so on but councils provide many other statutory and discretionary services:

  • Needs services - education including schools as the Local Education Authority, youth services, children's centres, adult education, adult and children's social services and safeguarding, community care and residential care, housing/council tax benefit.
  • Protective services - community safety, fire and rescue (road accidents, safety inspections and certification), emergency planning, climate change adaptation, environmental health including food safety, pollution control.
  • Amenity services - highways, street cleansing, planning, parks and open spaces, refuse disposal, recycling, consumer protection, economic development, transportation, traffic management, parking, road signs, winter maintenance, planning and development control, licensing, registrars office.
  • Facility services - housing, libraries, museums and art galleries, recreational facilities, refuse collection, cemeteries and crematoria, allotments.
  • Public health services - including tobacco control, alcohol misuse, tackling obesity and promoting good nutrition, dental public health and sexual health. 

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