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On December 31, 1951 there were 93 local government units on the island of Gotland, among them one city (Visby), one market town (Slite), one county council and a lot of rural municipalities, many of them with less than 100 inhabitants.
Twenty years later the situation was totally different.
The first of the two nation-wide local government reforms in Sweden during the 20th century was implemented on January 1, 1952. From that date on, the rural municipalities on the island were regrouped into twelve new enlarged municipalities, which together with Visby, Slite and the Gotland County Council formed the new administrative pattern.
After ten years it was clear that this reform had not been radical enough and the work began preparing for the next one.
On January 1, 1971 the second and last local government reform was implemented in Sweden. All administrative and judicial differences between rural and urban areas were abolished. Only one type of municipality (kommun) existed from that date on. In the case of Gotland all the former entities were united into one single unit. As there was only one municipality in the county, also the County Council was abolished and merged into the new unitary municipality.
There are 16 urban areas (also called a Tätort or locality) in Gotland Municipality.
In the table the localities are listed according to the size of the population as of December 31, 2005. The municipal seat is in bold characters.
Election results 2002:
|Swedish Social Democratic Party||28|
|Liberal People's Party||4|
Election results 2006:
|Swedish Social Democratic Party||24|
|Liberal People's Party||4|
Main article County Councils of Sweden
When Gotland was made into a single municipality in the 1970s, the county council was abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the municipality, making it a unitary authority. During a trial period some of the authority normally held by the Gotland County Administrative Board, an agency of the national government, has also been devolved to the Gotland Municipality, as well as to two mainland councils. The municipality of Gotland is there for in this respect also a region. It has responsibility for the public healthcare system and public transport.
Events organised by the municipality
The municipality coordinates the annual Almedalen Week (Almedalsveckan), an important meetingplace for everyone involved in Swedish politics. During the week, representatives from the political parties in the Parliament of Sweden take turns to hold speeches in the Almedalen park in Visby.