What is a municipality?
There are 290 municipalities in Sweden. A municipality is both a geographical area and an organization. Here we describe the organization of Luleå kommun and how it is governed.
The organization Luleå kommun has several roles. We provide service, build the society of Luleå, we are an employer and sometimes an authority.
The municipality is responsible for a great deal of the public services for the citizens. Examples of the most important functions are school, social services, geriatric care, sanitation and water and sewage system. Our function is also to make sure that there is a good physical infrastructure, attractive districts and rich cultural and recreational activities.
The municipal officer’s organization consists of eleven departments. Within the municipality corporate group there are also eight wholly owned registered companies, subsidiaries, associate companies and some additional divisions. The municipality corporate group in its entirety has an annual turnover of more than six billion SEK and has nearly 7,000 employees. Next to the county council, Luleå kommun is the biggest employer in the county.
The government and parliament of Luleå
The functions of the municipality concern all citizens. Every four years, all who have reached the age of 18 and are registered in the municipality, can choose their representatives for the city council. Usually over 80 per cent vote in the municipal election in Luleå.
The city council is the highest decision-making representative assembly; the “parliament” of the municipality. The 61 representatives are appointed according to the result of the election. The city council makes decisions concerning among other things the organization of the municipality, budget, local income tax and also lays down the guiding principles for the activities. The meetings are usually held the last Monday every month. They are open to the public and are also broadcasted on the local radio and on the web.
The city executive board is the “government” of Luleå and consists of 15 regular members. Its president comes from the leading party. The city executive board rules and coordinates all the work within the municipality and is responsible for the economy.
300 local politicians
In addition to the city executive board there are ten committees with elected representatives. Most of the committees have 13 or 15 regular members and a corresponding number of alternate members. For most committees there is a department which rules the daily activities. The city council determines the budgetary limits for each committee.
About 300 citizens of Luleå have political assignments in various administrations and committees. Nearly all of them are politicians with another occupation besides politics, only a few of them are full time politicians. In practice, the daily work is being exercised by the officials, according to the guidelines and framework of the politicians.
The municipality is in some cases an authority with the right to make decisions concerning individuals. This happens for example when children are being mistreated, when something is about to be built or when someone applies for an alcohol permit.
The local self-government is a fundamental system in Sweden. The municipalities have the right to decide for themselves how to handle their assignments and allocation of resources. But this has to be done according to the framework of the parliament and the government.
The municipalities work according to the municipal law and special laws like the Social Services Act, the Education Act and the Planning and Building Act. The state is also inspecting the municipalities through various regulatory agencies.