In the United Kingdom and New Zealand, a unitary authority is a form of administrative structure in which two administrative levels are merged and are thus administered by only one authority; in Scotland the official name for this is Council Area . Some unitary authorities can be compared with independent cities in Germany and with statutory cities in Austria.
Unitary Authorities were introduced in England , Wales and Scotland in 1996. These are areas in which the tasks of a county ( non-metropolitan county ) and a district ( non-metropolitan district ) are combined in one local authority. As part of a single-stage administration, all tasks of a local or communal administration are carried out. A single-tier administration was established in Northern Ireland as early as 1973.
Some of the larger Unitary Authorities in England, Scotland and Wales have divided their area into regional units, in which so-called Area Committees are responsible for the organization of certain tasks in their area.
The Unitary Authorities in England can consist of only one city, e.g. B. Southampton , Plymouth or Nottingham , as well as cover entire counties and be largely rural, z. B. Northumberland . While the unitary authorities consisting of a single city have no subordinate administrative units, the large-scale unitary authorities are still partly divided into so-called civil parishes as the lowest administrative unit. Differences in the designation of these parishes (such as towns and villages ) have no administrative relevance. Unitary Authorities in England can also have the status of Borough , Royal Borough or City , but this has no significant influence on their competencies.
Since 2020 there have been a total of 57 Unitary Authorities in England , among which the Isles of Scilly have a special status. Five ceremonial counties ( Bristol , Herefordshire , Isle of Wight , Northumberland and Rutland ) each form a single unitary authority and ten ceremonial counties ( Bedfordshire , Berkshire , Buckinghamshire , Cheshire , Cornwall , Dorset , Durham , East Riding of Yorkshire , Shropshire and Wiltshire ) are subdivided into unitary authorities across the board.
Similar administrative units existed with the county boroughs in England between 1889 and 1974.
List of Unitary Authorities in England
In Wales, administration has been a single tier nationwide since 1996. There are 22 principal areas , which are comparable to the unitary authorities in England and of which Cardiff , Swansea and Newport have the status of a city and ten others have the status of a county borough .
Since 1996, Scotland has had a single-tier administration nationwide. There are 32 Unitary Authorities , whose official name is Council Area and of which Aberdeen , Dundee , Edinburgh and Glasgow have city status.
In Northern Ireland, the administration has been divided into one level nationwide since 1973. There have been eleven districts there since April 1, 2015 , of which Belfast has the status of a city . The Northern Irish districts have much less autonomy than the local levels of the other three parts of the country, in particular no responsibility for planning questions of any kind.
In New Zealand there are six Unitary Authorities that simultaneously perform regional and local administrative tasks. These were established around 1990 when New Zealand's administrative structure was reorganized from the ground up (around 700 administrative units became around 80). Four of New Zealand's Unitary Authorities are on the South Island and two on the North Island .
- Auckland Council & Regional Council (North Island)
- Gisborne District Council & Regional Council (North Island),
- Marlborough District Council & Regional Council (South Island),
- Nelson City Council & Regional Council (South Island)
- Tasman District Council & Regional Council (South Island),
- Chatham Islands Council & Regional Council
- United Kingdom: Counties and Unitary Authorities . (PDF 3.5 MB)Office for National Statistics, 2011,accessed January 1, 2013(overview map).
- ↑ The lowdown on local government law . Law on the Web , 2013, archived from the original on February 16, 2013 ; accessed on May 20, 2019 (English, original website no longer available).
- ^ Office for National Statistics: Counties, Non-metropolitan Districts and Unitary Authorities
- ↑ Population of England and Wales in mid-2012 ( ZIP ; 832 kB)