Local Government Association
The Local Government Association (LGA) is the national voice of local government in England and, via the Welsh LGA, in Wales. The LGA seeks to promote better local government; it maintains communication between officers in different local authorities to develop best practice. It also represents the interests of local government to national government and seeks to improve the image and reputation of local government generally. The Chief Executive is Mark Lloyd.
The LGA was formed on 1 April 1997, in the middle of the 1990s UK local government reform which created unitary authorities. The association is the direct successor to several per-type associations, most recently the Association of County Councils, the Association of District Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. There continue to be Special Interest Groups within the LGA representing groups of authorities. These are largely per-type— the County Councils Network, the District Councils' Network, the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities, and UNISIG, representing Unitary Authorities, but also include groups for coastal authorities, authorities with high ethnicity, and authorities with sparse populations, among others.
- Sir Jeremy Beecham (1997–2004)
- Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Baron Bruce-Lockhart (2004–2007)
- Sir Simon Milton (2007–2008)
- Dame Margaret Eaton (2008–2011)
- Sir Merrick Cockell (2011-2014)
- David Sparks (2014-2015)
- Gary Porter, Baron Porter of Spalding (2015-)
- Sir Chris Clarke, Liberal Democrat group leader 2001-2005
- Richard Kemp CBE, Liberal Democrat group leader 2005-2011
- Marianne Overton, Independent Group Leader 2011-
Local Government Group
The LGA was part of a wider Local Government Group that also comprised:
- Local Government Improvement and Development (formerly the Improvement & Development Agency)
- Local Government Employers (formerly the Employers' Organisation for Local Government)
- Local Government Regulation (formerly Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services)
- Local Government Leadership (formerly the Leadership Centre for Local Government)
- Local Partnerships (a joint venture between the LGA and Partnerships UK which delivers the services previously offered by 4ps)
These bodies worked with local government organisations (regardless of whether they are LGA members) with the objective of strengthening local government's capabilities and providing support for specific issues that are of widespread importance to local government, for example national pay bargaining. The members of the Local Government Group were rebranded in July 2010 as part of the Local Government Group's 'Getting Closer' initiative . However, in 2011 the decision was taken by the association's new leadership to revert to the original LGA style and brand and by April 2012 the sister organisations had all been folded into the LGA as part of a wider efficiency and restructuring exercise .
The LGA has its Head Office at Local Government House (formerly Transport House) in Smith Square, Westminster, London. Its members are various types of English and Welsh local authorities, including county councils, metropolitan borough councils, London borough councils, non-metropolitan district councils and unitary authorities. The LGA does not cover parish and community councils, which are represented by the National Association of Local Councils and by One Voice Wales. In 2008 the Association published the National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy  with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which saw the creation of a stronger regional presence in the form of nine Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) which were given £185m of devolved funding from DCLG to drive improvement in local government.
In addition there are bodies such as London Councils (formerly the Association of London Government) and other regional bodies to bring together local authorities at the regional level. The regional groupings are:
- East of England Local Government Association
- East Midlands Councils
- London Councils
- Association of North East Councils
- North West Regional Leaders Board
- South East England Councils
- South West Councils
- Welsh Local Government Association
- West Midlands Councils
- Local Government Yorkshire and Humber (closed in March 2015)
The Welsh members are part of the affiliated Welsh Local Government Association, which is a constituent part of the LGA, but retains full autonomy in dealing with Welsh affairs. By contrast in Scotland the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and in Northern Ireland the Northern Ireland Local Government Association are wholly distinct bodies with similar roles to those of the LGA in England and Wales.
- Australian Local Government Association
- Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
- Joint Contracts Tribunal