National and local government

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National and local government

This page outlines what a Council is, the difference between local and national government and how Rother District Council works.

Westminster Government in the UK is provided in two ways: central and local. 

Central Government

At a national level, the country is divided into 650 Parliamentary Constituencies and voters in each area elect a Member of Parliament (MP) to sit in the House of Commons and represent them.  Rother has 2 MPs:

More information about Parliament responsibilities, including contact details for Members of Parliament are available from the Parliament website.
Central Government's responsibilities include:

  • setting and collecting all taxes, except council tax
  • the National Health Service
  • state benefits such as unemployment benefit, tax credits and state pensions
  • making and reviewing UK law
  • the Country's security

Local Government

At local level, the country is divided into a series of local authorities or councils.  Councils provide services in their local area.  Voters in each area (electoral divisions) elect people to sit on the Council and represent them.  District Council elections are held every 4 years, with the next elections due in May 2015.  Some Borough Councils, such as Hastings have different election arrangements.  East Sussex County Council elections are held every 4 years and their next elections are in May 2013.  Find out more about local elections.

Councils provide services in their local area.  In East Sussex, some of these services are provided by Borough and District Councils but most are provided by East Sussex County Council.  Services provided by East Sussex County Council include:

  • education
  • social services
  • roads and transport
  • waste disposal
  • economic development
  • countywide planning and the environment
  • protecting the public
  • libraries

District and Borough Councils

District and Borough Councils provide many services, including:

  • refuse collection and recycling
  • environmental health
  • tourism and regeneration
  • leisure and amenities
  • planning permission and building control
  • housing needs services
  • collection of Council Tax
  • coastal protection
  • off street car parking
  • regeneration
  • licensing

All the services provided by both the District Council and East Sussex County Council can be found by going to the A-Z directory of services, by following the link at the top of this page.

The other 4 Borough and District Councils in East Sussex are:

Parish and Town Councils

There are 31 Parish and Town Councils in Rother.  Services that Parish and Town Councils may provide include:

  • allotments
  • bus shelters
  • cemeteries
  • children's play grounds
  • grants for local projects / organisations
  • halls for social clubs and meetings
  • parish lighting
  • recreational / sports fields
  • traffic calming measures
  • war memorial maintenance

Contact details for parish and town councils can be found at the following link:

  Parish and Town Councils

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