Functions of Local Government are not confined within the limits of a single government department or an individual head. It is actually the extension of its head, which is State Government. The functions of Local Government are many fold. The major functions of a Local Government are like sanitation, water management, public order, fire and safety, education and health. A Local Government is also responsible for maintaining order at their locality and is answerable to the people through their elected representatives.
On the other hand the functions of state level are far and wide and include the maintenance of roads, regulation of crime, development of local economy and even the distribution of licenses. State level Local Governments is generally elective and cannot be changed by way of direct election. Elected members of local government are subjected to recall at regular intervals.
There are two concepts that govern the performance of local governments at both the state and the community level, these concepts are public participation and community engagement. Public Participation refers to those functions of local governments that seek to promote social welfare and improve the conditions of the community. For this, they conduct programs such as community development projects, free enrolment program, public hearings and seminars, free school education and health clinics. They also ensure that the local residents have access to recreational facilities, especially for the elderly. For community engagement, it is essential to ensure effective representation at the community level.
The concept of social welfare is commonly referred to as the basic idea behind community development programs. However, it also entails providing economic, social and educational facilities for the general well-being of the community. Some of the basic functions of community development include setting up of jobs, developing the infrastructure, ensuring clean drinking water supply and ensuring health care for the community. For public hearings, it is important that the testimonies of local residents be given in an orderly manner. This would help better understand the problems and the concerns of the local residents.
Community development serves a number of purposes for the local government. On the one hand, it helps improve the living conditions of the people. On the other hand, it also develops the local economy by ensuring job creation and development, through proper employment strategy. Promoting clean and healthy water supplies promotes the interests of the residents of a community.
Community development functions also include environmental management. It ensures that the interests of the environment are protected from the natural resources. In addition, it ensures that the local people benefit from the resources created. Apart from this, it also ensures the protection of human rights, and contributes to economic growth and development by improving the quality of life and reducing poverty and all the other issues related to poverty.
The community development functions of a government are achieved by involving the community in decision-making. This involvement is achieved by involving the local people in the formulation of various policies. Through involvement in decisions and policy formulation, a person feels that he or she has a role in his or her community’s development.
Although government functions are vital to the success of a community, they have limitations. Public Relations plays a major role in addressing the issues that are important to the local government. The role of PR in such sphere is as follows. It first of all improves the image of the local government, and second, it tries to promote the policies that the government has to adopt. This can only be concluded by promoting the functions of local government.
Another great function of PR is that it makes public servants familiar with the general public. The PR functions of local government can only be effectively realized if there is a good public-relations policy in place. There are many ways in which the public relations of a local government can be handled. Public Relations can be promoted by the introduction of a number of projects and activities. The various projects can include, participation in different community organizations, publicity activities in the local newspaper and contribution towards community education.
The other important function of PR in the management of local government is to ensure that the legal obligations of the government are fulfilled. They should perform their duties impartially and not favor any one sector or party. In order to maintain impartiality, the PR office should have an equal division of work among all the stakeholders. This division of workload ensures that the interests of every section of society are met in the overall interest of the community.
Community development is also another important aspect of community development. Through this program, the growth of the community is promoted and this leads to increased income levels as well as better quality of life. This also contributes towards the fulfillment of the basic human rights of people.