Politically, however, they are fully independent entities, unaffiliated with the council of their former county.
For instance, the unitary authority of Plymouth is traditionally considered part of Devon, though politically it is not part of the county.
Subdivisions of England (as of 2010) that have a principal local authority: two-tier non-metropolitan counties and their non-metropolitan districts; metropolitan boroughs; unitary authorities; London boroughs; and the sui generis City of London and Isles of Scilly.
The subdivisions of England constitute a hierarchy of administrative divisions and non-administrative ceremonial areas.
For local government, England is divided into areas with a two-tier structure of counties and districts governed by two local authorities, and unitary authority areas where there is one local authority.
The arrangement varies in different parts of the country and there are four main configurations: non-metropolitan two-tier 'shire' areas, six metropolitan counties, unitary authorities, and Greater London.
The London borough councils and the City of London Corporation provide the majority of services, for example they are education authorities and co-ordinate waste management, whereas the Greater London Authority is responsible for the key strategic services of public transport, the police, economic development and emergency planning.In the case of Berkshire, there is no county council, as all of its former territory is now covered by six unitary authorities, unaffiliated with each other politically.Although there is no county council in Berkshire, these six unitary authorities comprise the ceremonial county of Berkshire.The Isles of Scilly are governed by a sui generis local authority called the Council of the Isles of Scilly.The authority was established in 1890 as the Isles of Scilly Rural District Council.Ceremonial counties are often different from the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties used for local government as they include the areas covered by unitary authorities.They are taken into consideration when drawing up Parliamentary constituency boundaries.Most of the geographical area of England is within a two-tier non-metropolitan arrangement.In 27 of these areas the county councils provide the majority of services, including education and social services, and the 201 district councils have a more limited role.Overall, England is divided into nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties, although these have only a limited role in public policy.For the purposes of local government, the country is divided into counties, districts and parishes.