Local Councils and Services

The political makeup of the local councils in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland can make them complex organisations to deal with.

They comprise of principal, local, and regional authorities - called local councils. This section lists the key topics that relate to council rules and regulations.

How Does Your Local Council Work in UK?

The complex pattern of local authorities extend through local government in England.

The roles and distribution of functions vary according to the local arrangements in your area.

As a rule your council is responsible for providing local services and specialised facilities. The amount of coverage you get depends on where you live.

This section helps you search for, and get access to, all aspects of local councils and their regional services.

Note: You can get a better understanding of how your council works in the full article that explains more about their budgets (e.g. council finances), responsibilities, and decision-making.

Find and Access Local Council Services

Alcohol Licensing

You will need a licence if your premises or events include the sale or supply of alcohol. Check the process to apply for Alcohol Licensing in your area.

Appeal Against TPO Order

Find out how to appeal a decision about a Tree Preservation Order or replacement order decision. Review how long the appeals process takes and the deadlines for appealing a TPO decision.

Note: Another section explains how to appeal against high hedges decisions made by local councils, the deadlines, and how long it takes to get a final decision.

Community Support Group

Bereavement Services

Your local council bereavement services can help you to find resources and support. They have experts trained in helping people cope with a death.

Groups and Organisations

The council will have information on any community support groups and organisations available in your neighbourhood. Contact them to check what help and support is accessible in your area.

Note: Your local council authority can give information on what help and support is available at day care centres for disabled people.

Direct Payments

In some cases you can apply for direct payments from social services. The payments can be for you or someone that you care for.

Note: The system lets you choose the services that you need most instead of the council arranging them.

Dog Warden Services

You can check to see if your local council has your missing dog. If you live in England or wales you can also report your missing or lost dog to their dog warden service.

Note: The process of microchipping dogs helps to reunite lost canines with their owners. But, you would need to report a stray dog to the local council if you are unable to make contact with its owner.

Local Council Services

Accessing the Internet

As a rule, you will be able to book internet access in your library free of charge. In some cases, you may also have an opportunity to sign up for a computer course.

Note: Some areas offer the Online Centres Network which may provide free access to the internet and training courses to help you use it.

Complaints Procedures

You can complain to the council authority online. Use the service if they did something wrong, failed to provide a service, or failed to follow the correct procedures.

Note: Councils conduct local consultations explaining how they will plan, manage important issues, and deliver services in different areas.

Find Your Council

You can search online to find your local council on the GOV.UK website. You will need a postcode to locate the nearest local authority in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Garden Maintenance

The council might offer a garden maintenance service in your neighbourhood. If so, it is for the elderly or for disabled council tenants.

Furthermore, your local council may offer a home collection service to help you dispose of garden waste in England and Wales. But, they may charge a fee for collecting green waste.

Note: You can apply for an allotment if you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables. The local council will usually add your name to a waiting list if there is no plot available.

Leaving Care

Councils support care leavers when leaving foster or local authority care. Check what happens when you leave care and what your local council must do to help.


There is a way to search for local library services online. You could get access to digital facilities such as CD rentals, eBook downloads, and free Internet access.

In some regions, you can join a library to get free access to many important services, such as book loans, CD rental, and accessing the Internet.

In some areas, you might also be able to reserve a library item and renew a library item online – through the council website.

Note: The GOV.UK website has a facility to help you find a mobile library if you are unable to access the bigger libraries based in your area.

Local Archives

The record office holds data on the history and heritage of each area. You can search local archives as part of research into family history, house history, and local studies.

Some councils also allow you to search the local library catalogue so you can find all the titles held in public libraries.

Meals on Wheels

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get meals at home delivered to your door by the local council authority.

Mobility Aids

You can apply to the council for help with mobility equipment if you need to adapt your home because of a disability or old age.

Needs Assessments

You can get a health and social care assessment by social services. It helps to determine what support you need (e.g. equipment, healthcare, or help in your home).

Rubbish Collection

Your council website is the place to find out your rubbish collection day in England and Wales. But, you would need to contact the council directly if you are living in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If your local council offers recycling collections you can recycle household waste (e.g. computers, mobile phones, and other types of green waste). People living in England or Wales can contact the council to get a recycling bin.

You can also report a missed bin collection to the local council using the online postcode facility (if you are living in England or Wales).

Getting Rid of F Gas Fridges and Freezers

You must check whether a fridge or freezer contains fluorinated greenhouse gas (F gas) before disposing of it. The instruction manual will confirm whether it contains:

  • HFC 134a
  • HFC 245fa
  • HFC 3465mfc

Local councils collect old fridges and freezers – and make arrangements to recover the F gas component from them.

Manufacturers stopped producing F gas fridges and freezers in January 2015. Even so, the law allows you to buy or sell an F gas fridge or freezer manufactured up to the 31st of December 2015.

Note: You can apply for special collection of large waste items (e.g. fridges, sofas, washing machines) at your local council. But, the service that they offer for clearing garbage is not free.

Transport Services

There may be community transport services and Shopmobility available for people who find it difficult to use public transport. Check if you can get door-to-door transport and trips to local shopping centres.

Note: Councils will publish local transport plans explaining how they will maintain and improve transport in different areas. You can also check local services disrupted by severe weather (e.g. flooding and heavy snowfall).

Youth Opportunity Funding

The Youth Opportunities Fund can provide money for young people to use on activities and projects. You can apply for Youth Opportunity Funding through your local council.

Noise and Neighbours

Demolition Work

Is demolition work causing you a problem (e.g. is it noisy or creating an obstruction to pavements or to a road)? If so, you can complain about problems caused by demolition works to your local council.

Note: You can report a problem with a pavement to the council. As a rule, they have the responsibility of maintaining most pavements (e.g. replacing broken or missing slabs, removing weeds).

Low Flying Aircraft

You can apply to the MOD to request they stop low flying activities in your area. The guide explains more about low flying military aircraft and how they use them for training purposes.

Noisy Neighbours

Are you having problems with noisy neighbours (e.g. barking dogs, loud music, rowdy pubs and parties)? If so, you can report a noise nuisance to your local council.

Note: Another section explains how to resolve a dispute with a neighbour and what to do if they issue threats or the situation turns violent.

Pets and Pests

Domestic Animals and Pets

The help guide about pets and animals is for pet owners and anyone looking for information about animal welfare and pets laws in the United Kingdom.

Pest Control

Read more about animal pest control on your property and relevant laws around it. This help guide also explains how seek pest control professionals for total eradication.

You can find out about pest control on the GOV.UK website. Many local councils help to get rid of common pests in properties (e.g. bedbugs, mice, wasps).

Note: You can report a pest problem to the council. They can help with finding pest control services and may offer some tips on preventing an infestation.

Street Parties

Get the rules and regulations for organising a street party in the United Kingdom. Find out how to inform your local council to get insurance and licences for food and music.

Note: You can find out when the local council cleans your street (e.g. removing litter and sweeping the streets) or report a blocked drain or a pothole if you live in England or Wales.

Local Council Rules: Getting Access to Council Services