While the term county (fylke) denotes the geographical area, the county authority (fylkeskommune) is the democratically elected body, with responsibilities for public welfare in the county.
Public administration in Norway has a 3-tier structure with the following elements: central government, county government and municipal government. The welfare of the individual is closely bound up with the activities of the county and municipal governments. Norway is divided into 19 counties (fylker) and more than 400 municipalities (kommuner). In Sør-Trøndelag there are 295.000 inhabitants. Almost 174.000 live in the city of Trondheim.
The county authority is responsible for tasks that are too large or too complex for the municipalities to manage alone. The central government has an overriding authority and supervises both county and municipal administration. The activities of the county authority are mainly limited by central government’s fiscal policy, i.e. through subsidies and block grants.
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Activities and services
The main activities of Sør-Trøndelag County Authority are regional development and education.
Sør-Trøndelag County Authority develops and promotes the region through local and international partnerships.
The County Authority is responsible for regional planning and coordination and has environmental responsibilities. The County Authority promotes the cultural life of the region. This includes grants to sports, museums, festivals, theatres, orchestras, filmmaking and protection of the cultural heritage.
Areas of responsibility for regional transport include construction and maintenance of county roads, allocation of resources to local boat and bus routes, permit allocation and licence for taxi as well as transport for the disabled.
The County Authority encourages and facilitates economic development through projects, guidance and financial support.
The County Authority is engaged in a broad spectre of international activities. The County Authority is lead partner in Interreg projects, a participant in other EU projects, and has partnership agreements with European regions as well as student exchange programmes.
The County has 22 upper secondary schools with approx. 11.000 students in the 16 – 21 age group. The schools offer general and vocational education. The County Authority is also responsible for apprenticeship training and adult education.
The County Authority offers dental care for youth between 0 – 20 years, and has 28 dental clinics all over the county.
The County Council
The County Council is the principal elected body. The County Council is directly elected every 4 years, and is composed of 37 representatives.
They meet 4-5 times a year to decide on matters of principle and overriding importance, including budgetary and financial planning. An economic plan forms the basis for the activities of the County Authority over the next four years. The annual budget is binding for County Authority activities.
The County Executive Board
The County Council elects 9 representatives from among its members to form the County Executive Board. This body meets twice a month to make decisions and recommendations in all matters unless otherwise provided by statute.
The County Principal Standing Committees
There are four principal standing committees whose members are elected by the county council. These committees provide the political leadership for the county council's main activities:
- The Committee for Education
- The Committee for Economic Development
- The Committee for Transport and the Environment
- The Comittee for Culture, Athletics and Community Welfare
In addition there is a County Committee for Administrative Affairs which has a managerial function vis-a-vis the employees.
The Chairman of the County Council
The Chairman of the County Council (or County Mayor) is the chief political representative of the County Council. Besides having many other political functions, the County Mayor presides over the County Council and the County Executive Board.
The County Administration
The central County Administration and the service institutions implement the political decisions made by the County Council. The head of the County Administration is the Chief County Executive.
The Chief County Executive and the County Directors
As the administrative head of the County Authority, the Chief County Executive leads, coordinates and supervises all administrative and economic activities in the County Authority. The Chief County Executive is also responsible for all aspects related to county planning and service efficiency. He, his directors and departments also have important functions vis-a-vis the political structure, e.g. by preparing and presenting proposals and reports to the County Executive Board and the County Council.
The Chairman of the County Council/County Mayor
Tore O. Sandvik –
Vice Chairman of the County Council/Vice County Mayor
Gunn Iversen Stokke -
Chief County Executive
Knut Aspås –
County Director of Education
Inger Christensen –
County Director of Regional Development
County Director of Economy
County Director of Regional transport