Municipalities of Guelphia

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In the administrative division of Guelphia, the municipality is one of the three levels of government below the national level ("local authorities"), between the counties and the parishes. As of October 2014, there are 84 municipalities in Guelphia.

History

Foundations

Guelphia's municipalities came into existence in 1844, with the passage of the Municipal Boroughs Ordinance[1]. The Ordinance allowed for the formation of municipal corporation on petition to the Sovereign from any settlement whose population exceeded 1,000 free settlers. The first municipalities were formed at Corfe Harbour, Earnestvale, Hillsborough, Langford, Lunenborough, Pasquale, Port Frederick, Regentsmere, and Williamsdene on the 1 January 1845.

Between 1845 and 1907, a further eight boroughs were formed under the Ordinance. In that time several boroughs received, by Royal Charter, the right to style themselves as a city.

General characteristics

The municipal seat of government is known as the municipal seat and is generally a city or town of some importance within the municipality, and is also typically where the name of the municipality is drawn. The historical basis of the municipality was any settlement whose population exceeded 1,000. However, after 1907, local government was extended to cover the entire country, with previously non-municipal areas gazetted as rural districts around a large village or town. In almost every instance, the municipal seat is the largest settlement in the municipality. Municipalities are divided into one or more deaneries, which are only used for administrative and electoral purposes, and do not have the status of a legal entity in law. The municipalities are further divided into parishes, which are governed by elected councils known as vestries. As of 2014, there are over 600 parishes in Guelphia.

Each municipality is administered by a municipal council, an assembly elected for four years by all adults over the age of 21, with the mayor of the council elected by the councillors at the first meeting after an election. All municipal councils utilise the council–manager form of government, with the elected council appointing a municipal clerk, who in turn makes major decisions and wields representative power on behalf of the freemen, burgesses, or citizens of the municipality. The municipal clerk is assisted by one or more department heads who administer the various functions of the council, such as libraries, parks and gardens, and waste collection.

Functions and powers

Under the provisions of the Local Government Act[2], the municipalities are responsible for:

  • Alcohol licensing;
  • Building ordinances;
  • Cemetery and crematoria management;
  • Garbage collection;
  • Local planning authority;
  • Local roads;
  • Parks and gardens;
  • Pre-schools and day care centres;
  • Public libraries;
  • Surf lifesaving and rescue.

See also

References and notes

  1. Municipal Boroughs Ordinance (Ordinance No. 11 of 1844).
  2. Local Government Act (Public Act No. 40 of 1989).

Other links