What is Local Government?

Local government plays a vital role in representing the interests of its citizens, delivering and commissioning local services.  Central government will make localism real by delegating power to the lowest appropriate level.

As part of this, local authorities will be the key player in using new delegated powers and devolving powers further down to the grassroots wherever possible.  Local authorities also have a crucial role to play in ensuring that day-to-day services to their communities are efficient and effective, offer good value for money and deliver what people actually want.

To achieve this, local government will be more transparent and accountable to its citizens.  It will work closely with community groups and the voluntary sector.  As a local government officer, you would be responsible for putting council policies into practice.  You would also make sure that local services are delivered well.  If you are keen to be involved in your local area and want to work in an office, this job could be perfect for you.

To become a local government officer, you will need to be able to deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.  You will need good negotiating skills. You will also need good organisational skills.  The skills and experience that are needed will vary depending on the duties and level of responsibility, so you should check the entry requirements carefully for each job. 

The Work
You could work in a variety of departments and roles, such as planning council services in a policy section, or delivering services in a department like education or housing.  Job titles at this level could include equality and diversity officer, external funding officer, policy officer and democratic services officer.  Your day-to-day tasks would vary according to the department and your level of responsibility.  They may include:

  • managing and evaluating projects; 
  • writing reports and briefing papers; 
  • dealing with enquiries and giving advice; 
  • presenting information at meetings; 
  • supervising administrative work and managing clerical staff; 
  • keeping records; 
  • preparing and managing contracts; 
  • liaising with other agencies; 
  • managing budgets and funding.


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