Local government in Wales
The current names of certain unitary authority areas are different from those specified in the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. The following changes took place, all with effect from 2 April 1996:
- Conwy from Aberconwy and Colwyn
- Isle of Anglesey from Anglesey
- Gwynedd from Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire
- Ceredigion from Cardiganshire
- Neath Port Talbot from Neath and Port Talbot
In common with councils throughout the rest of the UK, Welsh councils are run by elected councillors. However because of political in-fighting and a history of poor performance, the executive functions of the Isle of Anglesey Council were temporarily taken over by commissioners appointed by the Welsh Assembly Government. Elections planned for 2012 were delayed until 2013.
Preserved counties of Wales
For ceremonial purposes of Lieutenancy and Shrievalty, Wales is divided into 8 preserved counties which are based on the counties created by the Local Government Act 1972 and used for local government and other purposes between 1974 and their abolition in 1996.
Historic counties of Wales
The historic counties of Wales are ancient subdivisions of Wales, used for various functions for several hundred years. The oldest date from 1138, with further counties created in 1282 and 1535. They were the main administrative subdivisions of Wales from 1889 until the implementation in 1974 of the Local Government Act 1972.
The lowest level of administrative subdivision in Wales are the communities, into which each principal area is subdivided. They may have elected community councils which perform a number of roles, such as providing local facilities, and representing their communities to larger local government bodies. Community councils are the equivalent of English parish councils. A community council may call itself a "town council" if it so wishes. The councils of three communities with city status – Bangor, St Asaph, and St David's and the Cathedral Close – are known as "city councils". Communities which are too small to have a council may have a community meeting instead: an example of direct democracy.
Police and fire services
There are four police forces in Wales. These are:
Fire and rescue services
There are three fire and rescue services in Wales. The present Welsh fire services date from 1996. Each covers a number of principal areas. These are:
|NUTS 1||Code||NUTS 2||Code||NUTS 3||Code|
|Wales||UKL||West Wales and The Valleys||UKL1||Isle of Anglesey||UKL11|
|Conwy and Denbighshire||UKL13|
|South West Wales (Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire)||UKL14|
|Central Valleys (Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff)||UKL15|
|Gwent Valleys (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen)||UKL16|
|Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot||UKL17|
|East Wales||UKL2||Monmouthshire and Newport||UKL21|
|Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan||UKL22|
|Flintshire and Wrexham||UKL23|
In April 2013, it was announced that a major review was to be undertaken into local government organisation in Wales, with a Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery being established, to be chaired by Sir Paul Williams. First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Since public sector budgets are likely to continue to tighten, and demand pressures grow, there is a clear need to examine how services can be sustained and standards of performance raised, so that people in Wales can continue to receive and influence the public services they need and value."
The Commission reported on 20 January 2014. It recommended that the number of councils be reduced, through mergers rather than through boundary changes, from 22 to 10, 11 or 12; and suggested that the cost of merging the councils would be met through savings made within about two years.
Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "This report addresses many issues that are critical at a time when the need for public services is outstripping the resources available to provide them. I have always been clear that the status quo is not an option. Change is inevitable and essential so that our public services can become more efficient, effective, accessible and responsive." Janet Finch-Saunders AM, shadow minister for local government, said: "What matters to the vast majority of hardworking families is not the intricate structures of local government, but knowing that services will be delivered in an efficient and cost effective way.... We believe that public services are best delivered locally so taxpayers can hold local representatives to account for what happens in their community." Rhodri Glyn Thomas, for Plaid Cymru, commented: "The weight of evidence presented to the Williams Commission shows that if the people of Wales are going to get the services they need and deserve then there has to be a radical improvement in the way public services are delivered."
- List of Welsh principal areas by population
- List of Welsh principal areas by area
- List of Welsh areas by percentage of Welsh-speakers
- Welsh Government
- Geography of Wales
- List of communities in Wales
- ISO 3166-2:GB, subdivision codes for the United Kingdom
- Local government in England
- Local government in Northern Ireland
- Local government in Scotland
- Political make-up of local councils in the United Kingdom#Welsh Unitary authorities
- Williams Commission report, January 2014
- LocalGov.co.uk - News updates on UK local government, including reorganisation
- Map of the UK counties and unitary administrations
- Map of all UK local authorities
- Local Government (Wales) Act 1994
- BBC Wales A listing of "each of the 22 Welsh counties". 23.12.05
- BBC Wales North West: Conwy County
- Beckett, J V (2005). City Status in the British isles, 1830 - 2002. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-7546-5067-7.
- "Three towns win city status for Diamond Jubilee". BBC NEWS. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, Schedule 1
- The London Gazette: . 21 May 2002. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- "Newport City Council". Newport City Council. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- The Residuary Body for Wales (Levies) Regulations 1996
- Power taken from Anglesey council elected politicians
- Anglesey council election postponed for year to 2013
- Local councils in Wales could be cut after review, BBC News, 19 April 2013.
- Williams Commission report calls for fewer councils, BBC News, 20 January 2014.
- CIA World Factbook 2002