How your Councils work



There are a variety of different types of councils in operation throughout England, and together they form what is known as Local Government. Currently, in the area covering for instance,  St Olaves Ward in Bury St Edmunds, we have the following structure:



Each council provides different services to the people of Bury St Edmunds, and a councillor, unless elected to all three councils at the same time, has no authority to interfere in the services provided by a council he or she is not elected to. e.g. A Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor, has no authority for instance to have double yellow lines painted on a road, unless he or she is also a Suffolk County Councillor.

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger currently represents St Olaves Ward on West Suffolk Council. From 2005 to 2009 he was also a Suffolk County Councillor for Tower Division. He missed out on being elected to Tower Division again in 2017 by just 5 votes (1823 to 1828). For Suffolk County Council issues, please contact your current Tower Division Councillors via the Suffolk County Council website.

So what does Bury St Edmunds Town Council do?










The current Bury St Edmunds Town Council was formed in 2003 and Cllr Paul Hopfensperger was one of the founding members. He designed the logo above which can be seen on many signs and pieces of municipal equipment like litter bins around the town. A list of the functions performed by the Bury St Edmunds Town Council can be found by clicking on the link below:-

So what does West Suffolk Council do?









As you may already know, St Edmundsbury Borough Council merged with Forest Heath District Council on April 1st, 2019 to form West Suffolk Council.


In broad terms, West Suffolk Council is a District Council and is responsible for:-

  • Culture and Community Development

  • Economic Development

  • Housing

  • Licensing and Environmental Health

  • Planning and Building/Development Control

  • Running ALL Town/Borough/County and Parliamentary Elections

  • Household Waste Collection and Recycling (Black/Blue/Brown & some Commercial Bin Collection)

  • West Suffolk's leisure services are run by Abbeycroft Leisure on behalf of the councils

  • Council Tax Collection on behalf of all Town/Parish/District/County Councils and The Police and benefits are administered by Anglia Revenues Partnership on behalf of the councils

Further information can be found by going directly to the West Suffolk website:-

So what does Suffolk County Council do?




Suffolk County Council is by far the biggest Council of the three tiers, and is responsible for a large variety of everyday services, some you wouldn't even realise, but are all important to all of us. A brief list can be found here:-

Further information can be found by going directly to the Suffolk County Council website:-


West Suffolk Council
BSE Town Council.jpg
Suffolk County Council