THE FUNCTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The classification of the functions of local government varies, as in the case of all classifications, with the basis of classification that is employed and with the other assumptions that are made. Thus, in the first place, if local government be conceived of as relatively differentiated and as fairly closely analogous to central government, the Council being considered analogous to Parliament, the Mayor or similar official to the King, the Council committees to the Ministry, and local employees to the Civil Service,--then, the functions of local government may be thought of as the several activities of the several divisions of government. In this way, the functions of local government may be looked upon as the functions conventionally classified as legislative and executive.
The most convenient classification of the functions of modern legislatures would seem to reduce such functions to three. These are law-making, the administration of public finance, and the control of the executive. English local Councils may be said to perform functions that are, on a small scale, analogous to these three great functions.
Local Councils may be said to make law. There appears, on the whole, to be no objection in England to recognizing that, for practical purposes, this is the case. Some legal theory, it is true, asserting that only Parliament can make law, does not recognize that local Councils can make law.1 In France, indeed,____________________