unitary authority

(also unitary council) n
a type of local council introduced in some areas of England from 1995 and in all areas of Wales in 1996. Unitary authorities replaced the old system of county and district councils, providing a single level of local government. Some unitary authorities, for example East Riding of Yorkshire govern a wide geographical area, while others control a single large city or town, for example Portsmouth. There are 46 unitary authorities in England and 22 in Wales. A similar system of local government was introduced in Scotland in 1996 consisting of council areas. Northern Ireland has had a single-level local government since 1973 made up of ‘district councils’.

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Universalium. 2010.

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