Under the Unitary State System, how does the local government system work in the UK?

Under the Unitary State System, how does the local government system work in the UK?

CSS Solved Political Science Past Papers | Under the Unitary State System, how does the local government system work in the UK? CSS 2021 and CSS 2020

Question’s Breakdown:

In the given question, the examiner demands to explain the working of the local government system in the UK, keeping in view its unitary state system, as a mode of governance.

The answer is solved on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches to his students, who consistently score above 80% because of their attempting the questions. Read the answer carefully and notice all the steps that are taken to attempt the question.



The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (abbreviated as “the UK”) is a confederation of three countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland’s province that works under the unitary state system. With powers being centralized in the centre of the state, its local government devolution plan has set an example for many federations for its effective governance. The Local Government Act of 1888 established various county councils. The chairman, aldermen, and councillors of these county councils were to be chosen by the people.

The working of local government in the UK has been divided into the following tiers:


  • councils
  • Unitary, Metropolitan, and London Borough councils
  • Town and parish councils
  • Police and Crime Commissioners

Critical Analysis


Local government in the UK has been and continues to be restructured continuously for several centuries. Although different types of local government existed in the Saxon and Medieval periods, it was not until the nineteenth century that the modern form of local government emerged. The Local Government Act of 1888 established 66 county councils, as well as a London County Council. The chairman, aldermen, and councillors of these county councils were to be chosen by the people.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (abbreviated as “the UK”) confederates of three countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland’s province. There is no formal constitution, but each has its own set of local government legislation. Acts governing the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which have a single-tier main local administration, are also included. There is no devolved government in England; instead, there are two-tier authorities made up of counties and districts (or boroughs) and single-tier councils called unitary authorities. Civic parishes are the lower tiers of local administration in England. Community councils exist in Scotland and Wales, but they are not a local government level; in Northern Ireland.

In the UK, either a one-tier system – unitary authorities – or a two-tier system – county and district councils – governs local administration. County councils, district councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts, and London boroughs are the five types of local government in England.

County/District councils

County councils are responsible for most public services in their respective areas and cover the whole county. Education, roads, transportation planning, passenger transportation, social care, libraries, trash disposal, and strategic planning are all responsibilities of county governments. There are numerous districts in each county. District councils, sometimes known as borough councils or city councils, cover a considerably smaller area and offer more local services depending on whether the district is a borough or a city. Housing, leisure and recreation, environmental health, trash collection, planning applications, and local taxes collections are all handled by district councils.

The number of lower-tier councils within a county varies according to the area’s size, topography, and special needs. County councils and the lower tiers, known as district or borough councils, share responsibility for the county’s overall territory. Although county councils are in charge of county-wide policy and planning, some services are shared between the two. District/borough councils have limited policy responsibility within their specialised roles and oversee a distinct set of services. Councillors are chosen directly and serve four-year terms.

Unitary, Metropolitan, and London Borough councils

In all four nations of the UK, unitary, metropolitan, and London borough councils function under a unitary framework and have the combined responsibilities of county and district councils. As part of a structural assessment of council demarcations in 2007, 16 English county councils and their subordinate levels applied to become unitary authorities to coordinate their service offering better and share back-office activities.

Many big cities and counties and some minor counties are unitary authorities, with only one level of local administration. City councils, borough councils, county councils, and district councils are examples of unitary authorities. In addition, Metropolitan districts, sometimes known as metropolitan district councils, metropolitan borough councils, or metropolitan city councils, are unitary administrations.

A unitary authority governs each borough in London. The Greater London Authority (GLA), on the other hand, administers London as a whole and shares responsibility for certain services. For example, education, roads, transportation planning, social care, housing, libraries, leisure and recreation, environmental health, waste collection, waste disposal, planning applications, strategic planning, and local taxation, Highways, transportation planning, passenger transportation, and strategic planning are all collective responsibilities of Unitary, Metropolitan, and London Borough councils in their localities.

Town and parish councils

The third stage of local governance exists in several regions of England. Parks, community centres, allotments, and military memorials are all under the jurisdiction of town and parish councils. They are elected entities with limited discretionary powers and rights as a realm of local administration. A parish council is not obligatory in any region of England. All parishes are required by the Local Government Act of 1972 to have a parish meeting. A parish meeting is not the same as a parish council in terms of legal status. It is required to have two meetings every year, one of which must occur between March 1 and June 1. A parish with more than 300 people may opt to form its own parish council, but it is not required to do so. Where there is a parish council, the parish meeting must be held once a year.

Their major goal is to gather community feedback and communicate it to the local government and other public authorities. Many community councils also engage in various additional tasks, such as fundraising, planning community events, implementing environmental and educational projects, and much more. Local governments have legislative control of community councils and adjust programmes to the specific conditions of their region in conjunction with community councils. Community councils get funds from the local government for administrative expenditures, the amount of which is determined by the local government.

 Grants from other sources are also available to community councils for specific activities. On problems that impact the community, local governments and other entities consult with community councils. These concerns are heavily influenced by what matters to each community. However, community councils must be consulted on planning applications and new premises license applications or applications to modify the use of premises fundamentally. Many communities also choose to include community councils in the planning process.

Police and Crime Commissioners

In England, there are 38 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and four in Wales. Every four years, police and crime commissioners are directly elected. In addition, PCCs have the authority to assume responsibility for fire and rescue services in their jurisdiction.

Critical analysis

In a unitary state, the central or national government has total control over all other political divisions or administrative entities. Although local governments in a unitary state like the United Kingdom carry out the central government’s directives and are dependent on it, their effective coordination and well-organized councils have made the United Kingdom an ideal state for managing state affairs with maximum public access for its citizens. In addition, the hierarchical segmentation of the territories has made things simpler for the people and for the statesmen to handle state matters effectively.


The local government is in charge of a variety of essential services for residents and companies in specific areas. Well-known functions like social care, schools, housing and planning, and garbage collection are among them. More than one million individuals work in local government in the United Kingdom, delivering more than 800 different services to local communities through a variety of various sorts of authority. The most frequent kind of local government is a local council, which is made up of councillors who the people choose in local elections. Councillors collaborate with residents and partners, such as companies and other organizations, to establish and implement local objectives. Permanent council personnel, or council officials, carry out the decisions and provide services daily.

CSS Solved Past Papers’ Essays

Looking for the last ten years of CSS and PMS Solved Essays and want to know how Sir Kazim’s students write and score the highest marks in the essays’ papers? Then, click on the CSS Solved Essays to start reading them.

CSS Solved Essays
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Want-to-Write-Argumentatively-the-Way-They-are-Writing.png

CSS Solved General Science & Ability Past Papers

Want to read the last ten years’ General Science & Ability Solved Past Papers to learn how to attempt them and to score high? Let’s click on the link below to read them all freely. All past papers have been solved by Miss Iqra Ali & Dr Nishat Baloch, Pakistan’s top CSS GSA coach having the highest score of their students. 

General Science & Ability Solved Past Papers

CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers

Want to read CSS Pakistan Affairs Solved Past Papers and learn how to attempt them to score high? Let’s click on the link below to read them all freely. All past papers’ questions have been attempted by Sir Kazim’s students, who scored the highest in the subject.

CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs

CSS Solved International Relations’ Past Papers

Have you opted for International Relations in the CSS examination and want to score above 150? Then, click on the CSS Solved International Relations’ Past Papers by Miss Abeera Fatima, the top IR scorer and the best IR coach in Pakistan. 

CSS Solved International Relations Past Papers

Articles Might Interest You!

The following are some of the most important articles for CSS and PMS aspirants. Click on any to start reading.

List of Important Idioms for PMS Punjab
List of Important Antonyms for PMS Punjab
How To Write an Evidence in the CSS and PMS Essay Body
How Did I Prepare and Qualify for the PMS Essay and Precis Paper?
100 Must-Read Essays and Solved Past Papers Questions for CSS, PMS Aspirants
Why Do Most CSS, PMS Aspirants Fail Exams?
How Much Is English Important for CSS, PMS Aspirants?
Best CSS and PMS English Essay and Precis Teacher in Pakistan
High-Frequency Words for CSS, PMS Aspirants
CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers 
CSS Solved General Science and Ability Past Papers 
CSS Solved Sentence Corrections with Explanations by Sir Kazim
Who Is The Best CSS English Essay and Precis Teacher in Pakistan?

Share Via
Recent Posts


Education Company


Welcome to Cssprepforum, Pakistan’s largest learning management system (LMS) with millions of questions along with their logical explanations educating millions of learners, students, aspirants, teachers, professors, and parents preparing for a successful future. 

Founder: Syed Kazim Ali
Founded: 2020
Phone: +92-332-6105-842
Students Served: 10 Million
Daily Learners: 50,000
Offered Courses: Visit Courses  

More Courses

RS 7000
3 Weeks


RS 15000
Extensive English Essay & Precis Course for CSS
4 Weeks


RS 15000
2 Weeks


error: Content is protected !!