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Understanding what local councils do

In some parts of the country, there is one council that provides all local services (known as a unitary authority). There are two unitary authorities in Essex, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea.

The rest of Essex works on a 'two-tier system'. This means there are two levels of local government, 'County' (which is made up of Essex County Council) and 'District' (which includes Maldon District Council).

In addition, some areas also have parish councils.

Each council has its own responsibilities which are shown below:

If you would like to view this as a downloadable poster, click here: What does your local council do? (PDF)

Maldon District Council

We are responsible for: 

  • Abandoned vehicles

  • Air quality

  • Allotments

  • Antisocial behaviour

  • Bins and recycling collections

  • Business rates and support

  • Building control and dangerous structures

  • Car parks

  • CCTV (Managed by Chelmsford City Council)

  • Community events

  • Community safety

  • Council tax and benefits

  • Dog fouling

  • Empty homes

  • Environmental health

  • Food hygiene inspections

  • Fly tipping

  • Graffiti

  • Homelessness

  • Housing

  • Litter

  • Licenses (including alcohol, animals, gambling, skin piercing and taxis)

  • Maldon and Burnham cemeteries

  • Noise complaints

  • Parks (some - check local signage)

  • Parking tickets and permits (Managed by South Essex Parking Partnership)

  • Planning applications

  • Public toilets

  • River moorings (some - check website for details)

  • Stray dogs

  • Street nameplates (not road signage)

  • Street sweeping

  • Voting, elections and committee meetings

Essex County Council 

Essex County Council (ECC) are responsible for:

  • Adoptions and fostering

  • Adult education

  • Blue Badges

  • Care for older persons

  • Childcare

  • Cycling

  • Drains

  • Education and schools

  • Essex Records Office

  • Footpaths and bridleways

  • Gritting

  • Highways (including road/pavement/surface issues, streetlights/signals/signs, road flooding/drainage/manhole covers, roadside hedges/trees/weeds, travel or traffic issues, public rights of way, bridges/subways/culverts, bus stops, street furniture, roadside barriers/walls/guardrails/fences, roadside bollards.)

  • Incineration

  • Libraries

  • Parks (some - check local signage)

  • Potholes

  • Recycling centres

  • Registry office

  • Road safety and signage

  • Social services

  • Streetlights

  • Trading standards

  • Travellers and unauthorised encampments

  • Youth services

Parish councils 

Parish Councils are generally responsible in their area for:

  • Allotments

  • Cemeteries

  • Community halls

  • Play areas