Organization and politics
Approximately 130,000 people live in the municipality of Helsingborg. About 90,000 of them live in the city of Helsingborg itself or nearby. Ödåkra, Mörarp, Påarp, Laröd and Kattarp are the biggest towns outside the city.
How the municipality works
Sweden is divided up into 290 municipalities. If you live in Helsingborg you pay local taxes to the city.
There are elections in the municipality every four years. At the same time as you vote for which politicians you’d like to elect to the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) and the County Council, you can also choose your representatives for the City Council.
You can only vote in general elections if you’re a Swedish citizen. However, you don’t need to be a Swedish citizen to vote in the elections for the County and City Councils. You only need to have a permanent residence permit and have been registered in Sweden for the last three years. If you’re from an EU country, or Iceland or Norway, you only need to have been registered for 30 days and provide notification beforehand that you’d like to vote.
The City Council is the municipality’s highest decision-making authority. Every four years there is a local government election, when the people in Helsingborg vote for the candidates they’d like to elect to the City Council. There are 65 members of the City Council who make decisions about every important issue for Helsingborg. For instance, it could be about how the municipality should spend its money or what is going to happen in the municipality in the future.
The City Council meetings are open to everyone who’d like to come and listen. You can follow the Council from the public gallery in the City Hall on Drottninggatan.
The Executive Committee spearheads the municipality’s work and ensures that all decisions become reality. The Executive Committee also prepares the City Council meetings. It researches into the issues which the City Council is to decide upon. It also presents suggestions on how the City Council should act.
The Executive Committee’s meetings are not open to the public.
The municipality’s committees
The municipality’s committees have different areas of responsibility. For instance, the School and Youth Services Committee is in charge of schools. The Elderly and Disabled Care Committee is responsible for helping the elderly. Each committee also has a department or office where civil servants work to ensure that things turn out the way the politicians have decided.
Stay informed and express your opinions
All Swedish and foreign citizens have the right to read almost all of the documents at the municipality and other public authorities. This is your right of public access to official records; this law states that you have the right to the content of these records, as long as they’re not classified.
The municipality’s money
Helsingborg’s municipality spends about 5 billion SEK each year to provide services to citizens. The majority goes to schools and care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The municipality gets its money from the taxes which the people of Helsingborg pay. The municipality also collects money from different fees.