Local government in the capital is conducted by 32 borough authorities and the City of London.
These local authorities are responsible for delivering a range of services including education, social housing and waste management and also collect the Council Tax.
Every four years voters have the chance to elect councillors to decide which parties will serve on the council. Although ultimate control rests with the elected politicians day-to-day functions are carried out by non-political officials.
Anyone experiencing difficulties with a service provided by their council can seek the help of their local Councillor who will hold regular advice surgeries. You may also be able to complain to the Local Government Ombudsmen.
City of London
Like all local authorities, the City of London has responsibility for essential services such as refuse and planning but as home to the UK’s financial sector and it works to promote the capital as a global financial and business centre.
Its responsibilities extend far beyond the City boundaries and include open spaces such as Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath to the famous Barbican Arts Centre as well as residential properties across six London boroughs – Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
The head of the City of London Corporation is the Lord Mayor of London, a historic post which is distinct from the Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor serves for one year and is both unpaid and apolitical.
Some London-wide functions such as administering the Freedom Pass and London Taxicard schemes and the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service are carried out by a politically neutral body known as London Councils.
This body representing the 32 boroughs, City of London, the Metropolitan Police Authority and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
It was created in 2000 following the establishment of the Greater London Authority and lobbies central Government and other organisations and institutions on behalf of all members.