This article does not cite any sources . (February 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A local government area (LGA) is an administrative division of a country that a local government is responsible for. The size of an LGA varies by country but it is generally a subdivision of a state, province, division, or territory.
The phrase is used as a generalised description in the United Kingdom to refer to a variety of political divisions such as boroughs, counties, unitary authorities and cities, all of which have a council or similar body exercising a degree of self-government. Each of the United Kingdom's four constituent countries has its own structure of local government, for example Northern Ireland has local districts; many parts of England have non-metropolitan counties consisting of rural districts; London and many other urban areas have boroughs; there are three islands councils off the coast of Scotland; while the rest of Scotland and all of Wales are divided into unitary authority counties, some of which are officially designated as cities. As such the term local government area is a convenient generic label referring to all of these authorities and the areas within their control.
The term is particularly common in Australia where it is synonymous with "municipality". Local government authorities across the country have similar functions and powers, but have different official designations in different states, and according to whether they are urban or rural. Most urban municipalities in all states are "cities". Many in Western Australia are officially "towns", even within the Perth metropolitan area. Many rural areas in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are "shires", while rural areas in South Australia have "district councils", and those in Tasmania officially use the title "municipality".
It is largely for this reason that the term "local government area", or simply "LGA", is favoured over the term "municipality", the use of which could easily lead to confusion. In recent years changes to the structures of local government have given rise to new official designations, while other terms have fallen out of favour. In the mid-1990s the state government of Victoria amalgamated almost all municipalities, abolishing many cities and shires, all towns and all but one borough. Queenscliff, south of Melbourne, is now the only place in Australia that is officially a borough. Meanwhile, many 'rural cities' were formed in largely rural areas where the core town is large enough, in terms of population, to be considered a city. In many such cases that town had previously been governed by a now defunct city council. Restructuring of local government in New South Wales and Queensland in the following decade gave rise to the municipal designations of 'region' and 'area', for example the Sunshine Coast of Queensland was formerly divided into several shires, but is now governed by a single Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
"Local government area" is also an official designation in The Gambia and Nigeria.
List of countries where "local government area" is an official designation
A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.
A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.
A shire is a traditional term for a division of land, found in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and some other English-speaking countries. It was first used in Wessex from the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement, and spread to most of the rest of England in the tenth century. In some rural parts of Australia, a shire is a local government area; however, in Australia it is not synonymous with a "county", which is a lands administrative division.
A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes, in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. The modern French is comté, and its equivalents in other languages are contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, Gau, etc..
A local government is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state. The term is used to contrast with offices at state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government and also to supranational government which deals with governing institutions between states. Local governments generally act within powers delegated to them by legislation or directives of the higher level of government. In federal states, local government generally comprises the third tier of government, whereas in unitary states, local government usually occupies the second or third tier of government, often with greater powers than higher-level administrative divisions.
A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary considerably between different parts of the world.
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national government.
This is a list of local government areas (LGAs) in Victoria, sorted by region. Also referred to as municipalities, the 79 Victorian LGAs are classified as cities (34), shires (38), rural cities (6) and boroughs (1). In general, an urban or suburban LGA is called a city and is governed by a City Council, while a rural LGA covering a larger rural area is usually called a shire and is governed by a Shire Council. Local councils have the same administrative functions and similar political structures, regardless of their classification. The sorting of LGAs into regions is for presentation purposes only, and has no legal or administrative significance.
The local government areas of Western Australia (LGAs) are those areas, towns and districts in Western Australia that manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1995. The Local Government Act 1995 also makes provision for regional local governments, established by two or more local governments for a particular purpose.
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council member elected by voters.
The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements.
A town council, village council or rural council is a form of local government for small municipalities.
Local government in Australia is the third level of government division in Australia, and is administered by the states and territories, which in turn are beneath the federal level. Local government is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and two referenda in the 1970s and 1980s to alter the Constitution relating to local government were unsuccessful. Every state government recognises local government in their respective constitutions. Unlike Canada or the United States, there is only one level of local government in each state, with no distinction such as cities and counties.
The City of Toowoomba was a local government area in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia, encompassing the centre and inner suburbs of the regional city of Toowoomba. The City covered an area of 116.5 square kilometres (45.0 sq mi), and existed as a local government entity in various forms from 1860 until 2008, when it amalgamated with several other councils in the surrounding area to form the Toowoomba Region.
The history of local government in England is one of gradual change and evolution since the Middle Ages. England has never possessed a formal written constitution, with the result that modern administration is based on precedent, and is derived from administrative powers granted to older systems, such as that of the shires.
Local government in the Australian state of Queensland describes the institutions and processes by which towns and districts can manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1993–2007. Queensland is divided into 77 local government areas which may be called Cities, Towns, Shires or Regions. Each area has a council which is responsible for providing a range of public services and utilities, and derives its income from both rates and charges on resident ratepayers, and grants and subsidies from the State and Commonwealth governments.
In Canada, municipal government is a type of local council authority that provides local services, facilities, safety and infrastructure for communities. Canada has three levels of government; federal, provincial and municipal. According to Section 92(8) of the Constitution Act, 1867, "In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to... Municipal Institutions in the Province." There are about 3,700 municipal governments in Canada. Municipal governments are established under provincial/territorial authority. the municipal government elects representatives at municipal level is called a councillor or alderman
Local government in the Australian state of Victoria consist of 79 local government areas (LGAs). Also referred to as municipalities, Victorian LGAs are classified as cities (34), shires (38), rural cities (6) and boroughs (1). In general, an urban or suburban LGA is called a city and is governed by a City Council, while a rural LGA covering a larger rural area is usually called a shire and is governed by a Shire Council. Local councils have the same administrative functions and similar political structures, regardless of their classification. They will typically have an elected council and usually a mayor or shire president responsible for chairing meetings of the council. The City of Melbourne has a Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, who are directly elected, and in the other councils a mayor and deputy mayor are elected by fellow Councillors from among their own number. Since 2017, the mayor of the City of Greater Geelong has not been directly elected. In addition, there are also 10 unincorporated areas, consisting of small islands or ski resorts, which are administered either by the state government or management boards.