In all large organisations, myths grow.

For example, did you know that because I’m a chief executive of a local authority, I don’t pay council tax?

No. Neither did I.

Of course I do pay council tax, but the myth that council workers don’t have to pay is more prevalent than you might think.

I’ve even heard of people getting a job at a council and being genuinely surprised they wouldn’t get a discount!

It sounds bizarre, but it’s just one example of how a common misunderstanding can become embedded in how people perceive large organisations.

Of course, there’s a reason myths take hold.

Sometimes we want to believe them – because they’re exciting or inspiring, or because we want to believe in something or someone…or blame someone.

Sometimes, we just don’t know any different.

For example, when it comes to public services it isn’t always easy to know whose responsible for what – what councils do, and where their involvement and responsibilities start and end. It’s confusing.

A lot of people think councils control business rates – deciding how much local businesses should pay.

But the rates are set by the Valuation Office, and in Wales the councils just collect the money and pay it into a central pool, which is then shared back out by central government to pay for public services.

But if you didn’t know that, you’d be totally justified in thinking your local council controlled business rates – especially when they collect the money.

Some of these common myths about local government recently spawned an interesting little article on Wrexham Council News (our news blog).

Have a read…