Dartford as a parliament constituency is nearly the same area as the Borough, which covers a range of services including planning and economic development; housing; and arts and leisure.
Many major services are delivered through Kent County Council, which is responsible for primary and secondary education; social services; transport; police and fire; there are six county divisions, each with one councillor. Elections are held every four years, the next in 2013.
Dartford Borough is divided into 17 wards, represented by 44 councillors (9 Labour, 31 Conservative, 4 Residents association); it is responsible for housing; planning; refuse; and leisure. Elections are held every four years, the next in 2015.
Parliamentary elections run on a five year cycle: the next general election is due in 2015 unless the government decides it cannot command sufficient support.
Dartford is part of the Southeast constituency of the European Parliament, which returns a delegation of 9 MEPs selected by proportional representation. Peter Skinner is the one Labour MEP for the region.
More local information in the dropdown menu at the top of the page