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Auditing - Buildings and premises - Child care - Central management - City districts - Counselling - Culture - Education - Elections - Emergency rescue services - Energy supply services - Environment - Geriatric care - Leisure and tourism - Municipal Board - Municipal companies - Municipal Council - Social services - Streets, traffic - Technical services - Town planning - Working life
The highest decision-making authority in a municipality is the Municipal Council, whose members are elected in general elections. The council then appoints the members of the Municipal Board and other committees.
A municipality has wide responsibility for services to the public. Culture and leisure matters, for instance, are fully left to the municipality to decide. Other services and activities are largely regulated by special legislation, such as the Education Act and the Social Services Act. For education, social welfare, and child and youth welfare, for example, the various acts and laws determine a level of standard the municipality must offer its inhabitants. The practical implementation of services, and also what services to provide in addition to the minimum level, are, however, the full responsibility of the local authority.
A local authority may not engage in activities which are part of another authority's area of responsibility, neither may it pursue any activity with the aim of making a profit.
A local authority can choose to conduct activities in corporate form. Production and distribution of energy, water supply and sewage, waste disposal and car parks are examples of activities which in Borås are handled by local authority companies.
All citizens of a municipality shall have equal opportunities and right to avail themselves of the various services and activities provided by the local authority.
A major proportion of a local authority's expenses is covered by local taxes paid by the inhabitants. Other forms of financing include fees and charges, state grants, and, in most municipalities, tax equalization contributions.
State and counties
Some public services are managed by the County Councils or the State. The most important responsibilities of the County Councils are hospitals and public health services. In the west of Sweden, four counties have formed the Västra Götaland region to handle these tasks.
Examples of services handled by the State are communications, road networks, police and judicial systems, and universities. The State is represented in the various parts of the country by the County Administrative Boards.
The Municipal Council
The Municipal Council in Borås has 73 permanent members. They meet once a month (except in July). Municipal Council meetings are open to the public. Anyone can attend and listen to the discussions and debates.
Based on the decisions of the Municipal Council, guidelines for the activities in the municipality are drawn up. The budget is the most important document, and sets goals and limits for the activities. The council decides on all matters of principle or otherwise more important matters.
The Municipal Board is liable to ensure that the decisions are carried out. For each area of municipal service and activity, there is a specialized committee of appointed representatives with its own administration and staff. The board and the committees make a lot of decisions about their own activities.
(From now on, we will write the names of the committees in CAPITALS and the names of the administrations in bold text.)
The Municipal Board
THE MUNICIPAL BOARD is a supervisory body responsible for coordinating all municipal services and activities, managed by other committees. All matters to be decided upon by the Municipal Council are first discussed and processed by at least one of the committees. This is often done by the board. If any other committee has processed the matter, the board must always give an opinion on the proposal.
The Municipal Board is responsible for the general development of the municipality, and must have an overview of municipal activities as well as the municipality's financial situation in both the long and short term. The board is also responsible for overall physical planning - how land is to be provided and allocated for housing, industry, outdoor activities, etc.
The Municipal Board has, as all the committees in the City of Borås, chosen to have their meetings open to the public. Anyone can attend and listen to the discussions and debates, unless secrecy prevents it.
At an emergency, the Board becomes the EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE and takes over responsibilities from other committees.
There are five full-time politicians - municipal commissioners. Three of them represent the political majority, and two the minority. They have divided the various tasks among themselves so that each commissioner representing the political majority is responsible for his/her own particular areas. The commissioners representing the political opposition have a corresponding division of tasks.
The Working Life Department handles the municipality´s employment measures, as well as everyday activities for the disabled and social security benefits. The departement has the full picture of how the clients are provided for, and can work against dependence on social welfare. The department also handles introduction and integration of refugees.
The WORKING LIFE COMMITTEE is responsible for the activities.
Nursery schools offer child care and activities for children up to the age of 5. The nursery schools often share premises with the compulsory school for lower ages, and cooperate with the schools. The three city district committees are responsible for child care in each geographical area. The personnel at the nursery schools belong to the city district departments.
The Town Planning Department works on various plans required for populated areas. The department examines building permission matters and inspects buildings under construction. The Surveying Section is responsible for, among other things, site division and property registration.
The BUILDING COMMITTEE monitors building activities within the municipality. Building permission is required for most housing projects, and this is given by the Building Committee. The Building Committee decides upon the names of streets and other public places.
Central management and administration
The City Management Department assists the Municipal Board in overriding management tasks. These relate to the municipality's financial situation, overall planning, utilisation of land, personnel planning, information and marketing, industry and trade, quality issues, and coordination of for instance school and geriatric care.
Some administrative services are appropriate to assemble in one place to serve the entire municipal organisation. Examples of these services are accounting, computer service, and switchboard. This is taken care of by the Services Department.
Energy supply services
Borås Energy and Environment Ltd is a producer of electricity and district heating. The company includes a public cleaning section, which handles collection of refuse from homes (the garbage is used as fuel for the district heating plant). The company also is responsible for the water supply, and runs water works and sewage treatment plant.
Borås Energy Net Ltd owns and runs the distribution net for electricity and district heating in the main town.
Both companies are owned by the municipality and their boards are appointed by the municipal council.
The department is also responsible for grants and property leases to associations and organisations, and handles public health issues. The LEISURE AND PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE is the political head of the department.
The Tourist Agency gives service to the inhabitants as well as to all visitors. The agency is a part of the company BoråsBorås Ltd, partly owned by the municipality.
Safety in traffic is an important issue for the Technical Department, which is responsible for street, road, and park maintenance in the municipality, as well as the municipal forests. The department is also responsible for lighting in streets and public places, as well as for clearing snow from roads.
The department is also responsible for the transportation service for disabled persons.
The STREETS COMMITTEE also acts as the TRAFFIC COMMITTEE, and makes decisions on local traffic regulations.
The CULTURE COMMITTEE promotes cultural activities in the municipality and supports new forms of cultural expression. The committee strives to maintain valuable traditions, and buildings and environments that are of value to the community image. The committee also pays particular attention to how public places and buildings are decorated.
The Culture Department embraces the Town Library, the Art Gallery, Borås Museum, the Textile Museum, the School of Culture, the Municipal Theatre, and the City Archives. The libraries in different parts of the municipality, though, are administered by the district departments.
Buildings and premises
The Property Management Department administers and maintains the municipality's buildings, sports grounds etc. The department supervises the construction of new municipal establishments. Other departments rent their premises from the Property Management Department.
The PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE is the political head of the department.
The Environment Department works to achieve a sustainable development of society. A main task is to see that ecologically harmful activities abide by the law, as well as dwellings and handling of food. The department works with nature conservation and environment surveillance, and are advisers in energy and climate issues.
The ENVIRONMENT AND CONSUMER COMMITTEE is responsible also for the consumer guidance services..
On behalf of the citizens, the municipal audit checks that the municipal organization performs its activities with due quality. The auditing, however, does not only search for faults and flaws, but also tries to find ways for improvement.
Politically elected auditors are responsible for the auditing, the AUDIT BOARD. Unlike other committees, the Audit Board is responsible only to the Municipal Council, not to the Municipal Board.
The Audit Department employs the officers who examine the local authority's activities by order of the elected auditors.
The Consumer guidance service will help individuals who have a problem with a purchase. There are also counsellors who will help with debt rescheduling. The guidance service is located to the Environment Department, and the ENVIRONMENT AND CONSUMER COMMITTEE is responsible.
A local housing authority is run by the Services Department.
Emergency rescue services
The emergency rescue services in Borås are handled by a federation of local authorities, formed by Borås and a number of neighbouring municipalities. The federation is led by a board with elected members from the municipalities.
In addition to fire-fighting and emergency rescue crews, the federation has personnel who work with preventive fire protection, and supervise all chimney-sweeping.
The Education Department includes administrative personnel as well as teachers and other personnel at the upper secondary schools.
The SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE is responsible for personal and family counselling for grown-ups including treatment for addicts, activities for the disabled, and social psychiatry. The Social Services Department also runs homes for the disabled. The department includes officers acting for the CHIEF GUARDIAN COMMITTEE.
Youth welfare is taken care of by the District Department West throughout the municipality. Social security benefits are handled by the Working Life Department.
The municipality's primary activities in child care, schools and geriatric care are in Borås carried out by three district committees: The DISTRICT COMMITTEE NORTH, the DISTRICT COMMITTEE WEST and the DISTRICT COMMITTE EAST. Each of the district committees are active primarily in their own geographical area, but they also have some responsibilities embracing the whole municipality.
The district committees organize the nine-year compulsory school including the nursery schools. The nursery schools offer child care and activities for children up to the age of 5. The compulsory school runs for 9 years and stretches to the age of 16. The compulsory special school is organized by the District Department North for the whole municipality.
The districts handle geriatric care and provides service flats, day centres, nursing homes, group housing and home help service. The District Department West handles personal and family counselling for youths throughout the municipality.
The district committees also run youth centres and libraries.
In addition to schools, day-care centres, and other institutions, the District Department East — as well as the other two district departments - also includes the administrative staff for the district committee.
The Services Department offers technical services. The department works as a contractor and will for instance transport, clear snow, lay a road, or maintain a house or a park. The department also handles the muncipality's workshops, stores and transport depots, and runs a printing service.
Other departments can choose whether they want to place an order with the Services Department, or with a contractor outside the municipal organisation.
The SERVICES COMMITTEE is politically responsible for the department.
Borås Energy and Environment Ltd handles collection of refuse from homes, and uses much of the garbage as fuel for the district heating plant. The company is also responsible for the water supply, and runs water works and sewage treatment plant.
The Technical Department is responsible for maintenance and snow clearance on the streets.
The Nomination Drafting Body suggests names for committees and other political, municipal posts to the Municipal Council. This comes into function after general elections and when someone resigns from his post.
The district departments handle geriatric care and provides service flats, day centres, nursing homes, group housing and home help service. The district committees are responsible for the geriatric care in their geographical area.
The primary aim in care for the disabled is to achieve a situation where disabled people can lead a normal life. Service flats, day centres and personal assistance are among the services provided. The SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE is responsible for all care for the disabled with the exception of the transportation service, which rests with the TECHNICAL COMMITTEE.
The municipality runs some activities through companies. Borås Energy and Environment Ltd, Borås Energy Net Ltd, Borås Municipality Parking Ltd, Industrial Buildings in Borås Ltd and Borås Zoo Ltd are subsidiaries in the Borås City Hall Ltd Group. Borås Transport Ltd is a fully owned company outside the group. The municipality also has housing companies in the main town and in the four larger suburbs. BoråsBorås Ltd is a joint venture with the trade and industry in Borås.
501 80 Borås