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About this topic

Local authorities are responsible for delivering a very wide range of services to the communities they serve. All local authorities are democratically accountable for the decisions they make through elections held every four years.


The Welsh Government is responsible for funding and setting the broad policy agenda for local government authorities in Wales but avoids using its powers to control how they operate. Our work with local authorities is firmly on the basis of partnership.  Local authorities also work in close partnership with other bodies, such as the NHS and the police.  

Our specific responsibilities include work to improve the performance of local authorities under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.  We are also developing the citizen-centred scrutiny of public services and the democratic framework for local government and are working to encourage greater participation in the democratic process.  

We are also responsible for policy regarding the remuneration of councillors and the conduct and financing of elections and for developing the local government ethical framework introduced by the Local Government Act 2000.  We support local government partnerships through the development of guidance for Local Service Boards (LSBs).

We also determine and fund the annual revenue and capital settlements for local government in Wales and maintain the legal framework for local taxation (council tax and non-domestic rates).  

Aims and commitments

One of the commitments in our Programme for Government is to support the delivery of effective and efficient public services that meet the needs of people in Wales.  In this context, our aims refer not just to local government but underline our partnership approach and apply to the wider public service in Wales.  They include:

  • strengthening local democracy
  • supporting continuous improvement in our public services
  • ensuring that our funding supports stronger and more effective service delivery
  • securing effective collaboration between public services.