Politics and organisation
The Municipality is governed by the Municipal Council.
The City Council Assembly
The City Council Assembly (kommunfullmäktige) is the highest decision-making authority in Örebro municipality. It is directly elected in general elections held every fourth year, at the same time as the election to the National Parliament and the County Council. It has 65 representatives and 34 deputies. The seats are distributed proportionally according to the number of votes. The seat distribution for the current term of office 2015–2018 is:
Social Democratic Party 24
Moderate Party (the Conservatives) 13
Green Party 6
Christian Democratic Party 4
Liberal party 4
Left Party 4
Centre Party 4
The total number of seats is 65
The City Council Assembly decides on goals and guidelines for municipal activities, sets the local rates, establishes the size of the municipal taxes and elects the representatives for committees and boards. A major task is to promote a stronger deliberative democracy, in which more people are involved in making decisions.
The City Council Assembly normally meets once a month and the meetings are open to the general public. Chairman of the Council is Lars O Molin (Christian Democratic Party).
The City Executive Committee
The City Executive Committee (kommunstyrelsen) is elected by the City Council. The number of members is 15 (9 substitutes). The City Executive Committee has an all-embracing role. It controls the administration of the municipality, supervises the activity of the committees and boards and decides in financial matters. A number of elected representatives are working as leading councillors or opposition councillors, on full-time or part-time assignments.
The City Administrative Office
The City Administrative Office (Stadskansliet) provides professional management support to the City Executive Committee and consists of the committee´s salaried officers.
Boards and Committees
The City Council elects boards/committees to be responsible for different activities. Three Directorate Committees are responsible for their special areas:
- Children and Education Committee
- Social Welfare Committee
- Community Planning Committee.
Sweden is divided into municipalities and County Councils. They handle matters and activities of public interest, which the Swedish government is not responsible for. The Local Government Act regulates what the municipalities and the County Councils shall do and must not do. There are 290 municipalities in Sweden Örebro being one of them. Stockholm is the largest with 758,311 inhabitants. Bjurholm is the smallest having 2,652 inhabitants. The average municipality has about 15,000 inhabitants.
What the municipality does
The municipality is the local authority. The largest towns in Sweden usually call themselves cities, although they are rather small from an international perspective.
Here are examples of areas for which municipalities are responsible:
- pre-schools and nine year compulsory schools
- upper secondary schools
- care of elderly
- care of disabled
- maintenance support
- planning and building
- environmental and health protection
- sewage system
- street cleaning
- emergency and rescue services
In addition to this the municipality does other things for the benefit and development of society, such as protection of nature, health, cultural development and Agenda 21.
Local self government and democracy
Compared to most other countries local self-government is very strong in Sweden — there is great freedom for each municipality to decide about its own activities.
The Government wants the municipalities to decide as much as possible about their activities. On the other hand the Government decides on laws which govern the municipalities.
An important condition for governance is the right to decide the level of the local tax and the right to taxation. The main source of income for municipalities is the local tax — almost 60 per cent. Therefore one of the most important tasks for the municipality is to create employment opportunities for its inhabitants. The inhabitants who are registered or own property in the municipality, are its members.
The principle of public access to official documents gives all Swedish and foreign citizens the right to partake and avail themselves of public and official documents. Each member of the municipality also has the right to have the legality of the decisions reviewed by the County Administrative Court.
The local democracy in the municipalities is an important part of the Swedish democracy. Each municipality has a City Council Assembly with representatives from the political parties. The City Council Assembly appoints the City Executive Committee and the other committees.
The general election for the Parliament, the City Council Assembly and the County Council are held on the same day every fourth year.
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