Presentation on theme: "The United Kingdom Prepared by Mariam Moussa – Hend Zaki – Marwa Mahgoub 2011 Cairo University Faculty of Economics & Political Science PhD Euro- Med Program."— Presentation transcript:
The United Kingdom Prepared by Mariam Moussa – Hend Zaki – Marwa Mahgoub 2011 Cairo University Faculty of Economics & Political Science PhD Euro- Med Program
Introduction. Constitutional Arrangements Structure and Functions Recent Developments Local Arrangements, Functions and Powers Local Democracy-Elections Local Supervision-Center-Local Government Relations Revenue Assignment Expenditure Assignment Capacity Building
United Kingdom falls in northwest Europe. Officially called the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. Made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Population: (2009). Capital: London. The name "United Kingdom" was first used in 1707, when the parliaments of England and Scotland united to form one country. The country's government consists of a Queen or King, a Prime Minister, and two Houses of Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The United Kingdom has been a member of the EU since 1972.
The British local government system is considered one of the oldest systems all over the world. It has been revised and restructured several times, so as to achieve prosperity, enhance efficiency, boost democracy, and fight corruption among localities. The United Kingdom is mainly composed of four parts: England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland, three of which apply one tier system, while England adopts one, as well as two tier systems, as shown later. The British Parliament is the main actor in developing the legal framework of the localities, as there is no written constitution for the UK, but parliamentary acts, which establish the different levels of localities, define their role, and clearly set their functions. There are continues efforts to develop local governments, among which is the issuance of the Localism Bill, and the Local Strategic Partnership.
Constitutional Mile stones: - Historical Background. - Recent attempts. -Structure of the British local government. - Functions of local government levels. Latest update: 1. The Localism Bill. 2. Local Government Workforce Strategy.
Much of the basic structure of local government in England is dates back to However, the Local Government Act (1888) was a major step towards developing a systematic system of local government in England. The act called for the creation of statutory counties, based on the ancient/historic counties. The statutory counties formed the basis for the so-called 'administrative counties‘. A second Act in 1894 (Local Government Act 1894) created a second tier of local government. So, all administrative counties would be divided into either rural or urban districts, allowing more local administration. There many attempts since that time until the issuance of Local Government Act 1972, which aimed at establishing a uniform and simplified system of local government that consists of a uniform two tier system across the country. By the 1990s, the continues retardation of education, social services and libraries to county control, was strongly regretted by the larger towns outside the new metropolitan counties, such as Bristol, Plymouth, Stoke. The Local Government Act (1992) established a commission (Local Government Commission for England) to examine the issues, and make recommendations on where unitary authorities should be established. It was considered too expensive to make the system entirely unitary, and also there would doubtlessly be cases where the two-tier system functioned well. The commission recommended that many counties be moved to completely unitary systems; that some cities become unitary authorities, but that the remainder of their parent counties remain two-tier; and that in some counties the status quo should remain.
Regional Development Agencies Act 1998: states that England shall be divided into regions, and that every region, there will be a development agency. The agency will be composed of not less than 8 nor more than 15 members, appointed by the Secretary of State. The agency is responsible for the following: a.To further the economic development and the regeneration of its area; b.To promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness of its area; c.To promote employment in its area; d.To enhance the development and application of skills relevant to employment in its area, and e.To contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in the UK. Local Government Act 2000: The act covers various aspects of local authorities, and is composed of six parts: a.Promotion of economics, social and environmental well-being; b.Arrangements with respect to executives, including elected mayors; c.Conduct of local government members and employees; d.Elections; e.Miscellaneous provisions including: surcharge and advisory notices; maladministration; welfare services; allowances ad pensions for local authority members; social services functions; charging of the childcare by local authorities; and the prohibition on the promotion of homosexuality. f.Supplemental provisions including orders and regulations; arrangements in Wales and commencement. The Government released a Local Government White Paper on 26 October 2006, Strong and Prosperous Communities, which deals with the structure of local government. It proposes to reduce the level of central government oversight over local authorities by removing centrally set performance targets, and statutory controls of the Secretary of State over parish councils, bye-laws, and electoral arrangements.
County LevelUnitary LevelGreater London Metropolitan Counties Non- Metropolitan Counties Metropolitan Districts Non- Metropolitan Districts Parishes County/District/ Boroughs Council Parishes
County LevelUnitary LevelGreater London -Public services. - Schools. -Public transportation. Districts Level - Gyms. - Leisure facilities. - Recycling and trash collection. County/District/ Boroughs/ City Council Parishes Light and maintain public clocks. - Light roads and public places. - Public toilets, parks and ponds. All local services
Londoners Greater London Authority Mayor of London Central Government London Assembly London Boroughs Participate in all activities including electing the Mayor. To examine the mayor actions, holding him to account. -Participate in articulating and delivering strategies. - Support in scrutinising the work of the Mayor. On the ground delivary of public services Engage with local and regional governments. Holds the strategic development, and sets the vision and policies.
The Local Bill was introduced to Parliament on the 13 th of December, And it is due to have its third reading on the 17 th and 18 th May, The Bill aims at shifting power from central government to the individuals, communities and councils. It includes a number of packages: more decentralization and strengthening local democracy; community empowerment; a radical re- boot of the planning system including neighborhood planning; devolving powers to the Mayor and London Boroughs. Some areas of interest in the Bill: giving councils a general power of competence; giving residents the power to hold local referendums on any local issue; the power to veto excessive council tax increase.
The first local government workforce strategy was launched in It has been updated for several times, last of which is the fifth update in Vision: “The strategy aims to support councils in achieving the skilled, motivated, flexible and diverse they need to deliver value for money services that make a difference to the community they serve”. There are five strategic priorities: 1.Organizational development; 2.Leadership development; 3.Skills development; 4.Recruitment and retention; and 5.Pay and rewards.
Local Democracy, Elections and Supervision
Local Arrangements, Functions and Powers Local government in England is very complex and its structure varies from one area to the other. Most of England consists of two tiers, a county council and district council. some towns, cities and counties have one level of local government, which is responsible for all local services, and this is dubbed "unitary authority." In Scotland, there is one tier of local government, while in Northern Ireland, there are local councils,
Local Authority Type Function 1 County Councils They cover the whole county and provides 80% percent of the services offered in the following areas: schools, social services, public transportation, highways, waste disposal and trading standards. 2 District Councils They can also be called a district, borough or city council. They cover a smaller area and provide local services, such as council housing, local planning and recycling. 3 Unitary Authorities They can also be called a council (e.g. Medway Council), a city council (e.g. Nottingham City Council) or borough council (e.g. Reading Borough Council); 4 London boroughs -The 32 boroughs are a unitary authority. -The Greater London Authority (GLA) is responsible for London's police, fire brigade, strategic planning and transport. 5 Metropolitan Districts They can also be called metropolitan borough or city councils. They function as a unitary authority, but the name remains from past organizational arrangements. 6 Town and Parishes They exist in some places in England and cover a small area. -In Wales and Scotland they are referred to as community councils. -They are responsible for the following services: car parks, public toilets, cemeteries, footpath lighting, litter bins, local halls and community centers, parks and public ponds, public clocks and war memorials. - These form the most local level of local government, and are sometimes described as the third tier of local government. - Number within the UK 10,000
Local Government Officials Mayor and Councillors -Mayor: Two Types of Mayors Ceremonial and Elected Mayor 1) Ceremonial Mayor (exists in districts with ceremonial title of borough or city) -In other local councils, referred to as a chairman of the council -In Scotland, referred to as a provost Role: He is not a decision maker and traditionally the ceremonial mayor performs civic and ceremonial duties: - Representing the district at ceremonial and social events - Meets important visitors and chairs council meeting. - During special occasions, ceremonial mayors wear a gold chain of office and a red robe.
2) Elected Mayor: The Local Government Act 2000, introduced new decision-making structures for local authorities in England and Wales, and this included the option of a directly elected mayor. Elected Mayors are voted for by local individuals to serve a 4 year term. They are responsible for the day to day running of local services, provide political leadership to the council & the community and carry out the local authority's policies The most well known elected mayor is the mayor of London, who heads the Greater London Authority. The Mayor of London has wider and strategic power than any other elected mayor, and his responsibilities include London’s transport, economic development, culture, healthy living, police and fire brigade. Elected Mayors also exist in the following places: Bedford, Doncaster, Hackney, Hartlepool, Lewisham, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Newham, North Tyneside, Stoke on Trent and Watford. Local Government Officials- Continued
Councillors: There are more than 20,000 elected councillors. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England decides on the number of Councillors for each local authority. Councillors are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the community regarding local services, such as leisure activities, rubbish collection, agreeing on budgets and council tax charges. They hold advice surgeries to help local people, support local organizations, campaign on local issues and work on developing relations with all parts of the community. Councillors are not considered a Council Employee and are not paid a salary, but they are provided with allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of carrying out their public services, such as travel expenses, allowances for food and drink and training. Councillors are elected to provide the policy, and then paid employees, Council Officers, put them into practice.
Councillors-Continued In order to be elected to serve as a Councillor, one needs to fulfill the following criteria: 1) 18 years old 2) British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union Citizen, 3) Need to say yes to one of the following questions: Are you registered to vote in the area? Have you rented or owned land or premises in the area for the whole of the last 12 months? Have you had your main job in the area during the last 12 months? Have you lived in the area for the whole of the last 12 months? Potential Councillors can either run through the backing of a political party, and in that case he/she will need to join one and get them to pick him/her as their candidate before elections or as an independent. One cannot run for elections if he/she works for the council or has recently been in prison.
Local Democracy: Elections As mentioned councillors and some mayors are elected and they serve a 4 year term. Elections are held in county council’s and London Boroughs every four years, while other entities elect a proportion (thirds or halves) of the members each year. Elections are held on the first Thursday of May in any given year. Parliament can decide to move the elections in England, so they can be held on the same date as European Parliamentary Elections. This was the case in 2009.
Election Timetable in England
Elections: Who can vote? Registered to vote 18 Years Old a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen living, Irish Republic, and a European Union citizen living in the UK registered to vote as a Crown Servant registered to vote as a service voter You can not vote in local government elections if you are a British citizen living abroad and registered as an overseas voter
Elections-Continued Similar to voting for Members of Parliament in a general election Voting System: First Past the Post Councillors Elections: Depending on the area voters will be asked to choose between one to three candidates to represent their ward. Mayor: e.g. In the elections of the mayor of London, voters will be asked to mark their first and second choice. If no candidate receives more than half of the first choice votes, then the second choice votes for the two leading candidates are taken into account to decide on the overall winner.
Other forms of direct citizen participation Referendum - The Local Government Act 2000, to carry out a referendum on whether or not to elect a mayor - Latest country wide referendum held on May 5th On the Voting System Used to Elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons -Referendum Question: At present, the UK uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead? -Results: Yes 6,152,607 Total votes 'Yes': 32.10% -No 13,013,123 Total votes 'No': 67.90%
Other forms of direct citizen participation Concillors hold advice synergies in order to provide local individuals with the opportunity to ask for help, advice, make a complaint or enquire about local authority services.
Supervision-Central and Local Government Relations: National policy is set by central government, but local councils are responsible for all day-to-day services and local matters. They are funded by government grants, Council Tax and business rates The main link between local authorities and central government in England is the Communities and Local Government department within the UK government, which was created May 2006 It is responsible for national policy on how local government is set up, what it does, how well it works, and how it is funded.
Supervision-Central and Local Government Relations-Continued: Under that legislation central government has no role in the determination or implementation of local government electoral and warding arrangements, including councillor numbers. All such matters are the responsibility of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) which is directly responsible to Parliament for its work and for its recommendations on local government electoral matters.
According to previous presentations: “Ministers are empowered to supervise and to take measures to secure enforcement of law by local government. Ministers have inspectorates to monitor and report on the performance of specific services. In certain cases, local government is mandated to prepare plans for setting up a particular function, the plans are subject to the minister’s approval. Members of the community can appeal to the minister against a decision of a local authority. The minister arbitrates between the local authority and the citizens. “Dispute settlement Mechanism” The Government may sue the local authority in an ordinary court of law. In extreme cases, the government can appoint an administrative commission to look after a local government activity.”
Finance is of great importance to the operation of local governments and the wide range of services they deliver. Financial issues that affect local governments affect all of the citizens, in terms of the services they receive and the taxes or charges they pay.
First: Central Government support. Second: Local Authorities self funding (a locally set tax based on house value).
It is the total amount of money given by central government to local government and is called also "Aggregate External Finance (AEF)". It has many forms as we will see later. It can be divided into: Central government support for current expenditure on local services. Central government support for local government capital expenditure.
1-Revenue Support Grant (RSG): a non ring fenced grant paid to local government in England, Scotland and Wales. A portion of it is directed to local government improvement and research services. 2-Non-domestic (business) rate payments: these are pooled separately in England and Wales, and then redistributed. Also called redistributed business rates. Equivalent payments in Scotland are considered to be locally financed rather than central government support. 3- Other specific and special grants such as the schools grant and police grant, which fund part of the current expenditure on a specific service or activity.
1- Capital grants. 2-Supported capital expenditure (revenue), equivalent to supported borrowing in Scotland. Supported capital expenditure (revenue) and supported borrowing enable local authorities to borrow or use other forms of credit to finance capital expenditure, with central government providing a revenue stream to support repayment of principal and interest.
Local authorities also raise finance locally through imposing local taxes, fees and charges on certain services. The main Source of local authorities self financing is Council Tax. Council Tax is collected by the district-level.
Local government have considerable discretion to determine the level, pattern, and standard of the main services - subject to the financial resources available, including the implications for local taxation. In some cases it is subject to central government regulation and inspection of the service provided.
The above charts provide local government percentage expenditure on services. Note: These charts deals primarily with Great Britain - most equivalent spending in Northern Ireland is central government spending carried out by Northern Ireland departments
Local government financing is a combination of basically four forms: 1-Capital and current grants. 2-Non-domestic rate payments. 3-Supported Capital Expenditure( Revenue) 4- Finance raised locally by local authorities (council tax). Central government support is the main source of finance, it represents about 80% compared to 20% from locally self raised finance. On the other hand local government expenditure is directed mainly to the following services: social protection (current expenditure), education, public safety and economic affairs.
According to UN Development Programme (UNDP) : Capacity Building is "the ability of individuals, institutions and societies to perform functions, solve problems, and set and achieve objectives in a sustainable manner." The terms "capacity building" or "capacity development" describe the task of establishing human and institutional capacity.
The Capacity Building Programme for Local Government in UK (CBP) was launched in 2003 as a joint Department for Communities and Local Government initiative to support capacity building and improvement activities within local authorities in England.
First Pilot Projects: the CBP supported a large number of pilot projects which were to “trial innovative ways of working and ‘pave the way’ for other authorities”. Second National Programmes: the CBP focused on the establishment and expansion of several National Programmes, delivered by central bodies, to deliver training and other organisational development support to local authorities.
Third Improvement Partnerships: Since 2004, the CBP has also channeled financial resources through ‘Improvement Partnerships’; groups of local authorities (including Fire and Rescue Authorities and National Parks Authorities) established on a regional, sub-regional or County-wide basis to undertake collective improvement activity. Fourth Direct Support: the CBP has also provided Direct Support to authorities defined as either ‘poor’ or ‘weak’ through the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) process.