Municipal corporation

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A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. [1] The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporations. [1] [2] [3]


Municipal corporation as local self-government

Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which they are located. Often, this event is marked by the award or declaration of a municipal charter. A city charter or town charter or municipal charter is a legal document establishing a municipality, such as a city or town.[ citation needed ]


In Canada, charters are granted by provincial authorities.


Chennai Corporation headquarters Ripon Building panorama.jpg
Chennai Corporation headquarters

The Corporation of Chennai is the oldest Municipal Corporation in the world outside the United Kingdom. [4]


The title "corporation" was used in boroughs from soon after the Norman conquest until the Local Government Act 2001. Under the 2001 act, county boroughs were renamed "cities" and their corporations became "city councils"; other borough corporations were renamed "borough councils". [5]

After the Partition of Ireland, the corporations in the Irish Free State were Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford (county boroughs) and Drogheda, Kilkenny, Sligo, Clonmel, and Wexford (non-county boroughs). Dún Laoghaire gained borough status in 1930 as "The Corporation of Dun Laoghaire". [6] Galway's borough status, lost in 1840, was restored in 1937; it was formally styled "the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Galway", [7] but referred to as "the Corporation". [8]

New Zealand

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 allowed municipal corporations to be established within the new Provinces of New Zealand. The term fell out of favour following the abolition of the Provinces in 1876. [9]

United Kingdom

The ancient boroughs of England and Wales were typically incorporated by a royal charter, though some were boroughs by prescription. The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 and Municipal Corporations Act 1882 abolished the corporations of rotten boroughs and other small rural areas. The Local Government Act 1888 aligned the powers of the remaining borough corporations with those of the new urban district councils. All borough corporations were replaced under the Local Government Act 1972 with councils not designated as "corporations", with the exception of the City of London Corporation.

The corporations of the burghs of Scotland were similar in origin and were reformed or replaced in the nineteenth century before being abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The Irish borough corporations within what is now Northern Ireland were reformed by the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840 and Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 and replaced by the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972.

United States

Municipal corporations as enterprises

According to one definition of the term, municipal corporations are "organisations with independent corporate status, managed by an executive board appointed primarily by local government officials, and with majority public ownership". [1] Some such corporations rely on revenue from user fees, distinguishing them from agencies and special districts funded through taxation, [2] although this is not always the case. [1] Such municipal corporations result from a process of "externalization", and require different skills and orientations from the respective local governments, and follow common changes[ clarification needed ] in the institutional landscape of public services. [3] They are argued to be more efficient than government bureaucracies, but have higher failure rates because of their legal and managerial autonomy. [1]

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galway City Council</span> Local government authority for Galway city in Ireland

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Local government in the Republic of Ireland</span> Tier of administration in Ireland

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borough of Dún Laoghaire</span> Former local government authority for Dún Laoghaire in Ireland (1930–1994)

The Borough of Dún Laoghaire was a borough on the southern coast of County Dublin, Ireland from 1930 to 1994. Its local authority was the Corporation of Dún Laoghaire.

A municipal council is the legislative body of a municipality or local government area. Depending on the location and classification of the municipality it may be known as a city council,town council, town board, community council, rural council,village council, or board of aldermen.

Town commissioners were elected local government bodies that existed in urban areas in Ireland from the 19th century until 2002. Larger towns with commissioners were converted to urban districts by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, with the smaller commissions continuing to exist beyond partition in 1922. The idea was a standardisation of the improvement commissioners established in an ad-hoc manner for particular towns in Britain and Ireland in the eighteenth century. The last town commissioners in Northern Ireland were abolished in 1962. In the Republic of Ireland, the remaining commissions were renamed as town councils in 2002, and abolished in 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council</span> Local government authority for county of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown in Ireland

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council is the authority responsible for local government in the county of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland. It is one of three local authorities that succeeded the former Dublin County Council on its abolition on 1 January 1994 and one of four councils in the old County Dublin. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 40 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Cathaoirleach (Chairperson). The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Philomena Poole. The county town is Dún Laoghaire. It serves a population of approximately 206,260.

A municipal district is an administrative entity comprising a clearly-defined territory and its population. It can refer to a city, a town, a village, a small grouping of them, or a rural area.

In Ireland, the term city has somewhat differing meanings in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Galway (barony)

Galway is a barony in Ireland, comprising Galway city and surrounding parts of County Galway. The barony is coterminous with the former County of the Town of Galway, a county corporate created by the town's 1610 charter and abolished by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898.

1991 Dublin County Council election in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown

An election to Dublin County Council in the electoral county of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown within Dublin County took place on 27 June 1991 as part of that year's Irish local elections. 28 councillors were elected from 7 local electoral areas on the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote for a five-year term of office. It was one of three electoral counties within Dublin County at this election, the others being Fingal and South Dublin.

The Local Government (Dublin) Act 1930 is an Act of the Oireachtas which altered the administration of County Dublin and Dublin City.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Voorn, Bart, Marieke L. Van Genugten, and Sandra Van Thiel (2017) (2017). "The efficiency and effectiveness of municipally owned corporations: A systematic review" (PDF). Local Government Studies. 43 (5): 820–841. doi: 10.1080/03003930.2017.1319360 . hdl:2066/176125.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. 1 2 Tavares, Antonio F., and Pedro J. Camoes (2007) (2007). "Local service delivery choices in Portugal: A political transaction costs network". Local Government Studies. 33 (4): 535–553. doi:10.1080/03003930701417544. S2CID   154709321.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. 1 2 Grossi, G., and Reichard, C. (2008) (2008). "Municipal corporatization in Germany and Italy". Public Management Review. 10 (5): 597–617. doi:10.1080/14719030802264275. S2CID   153354582.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "The first corporation". The Hindu . Chennai. 2003-04-02. Archived from the original on 2004-01-28. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  5. "Local Government Act, 2001". Irish Statute Book . p. §11(3), §11(4), Schedule 2. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  6. "Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1930, Section 3". Irish Statute Book . Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  7. "Local Government (Galway) Act, 1937, Section 3". Irish Statute Book . Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  8. "Local Government (Galway) Act, 1937, Section 2". Irish Statute Book . Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  9. "New Zealand Constitution Act 1852". Victoria University of Wellington - New Zealand Electronic Text Collection. 30 June 1852. Retrieved 2 April 2019.

Municipal incorporation

Municipal disincorporation/dissolution