THE BEZIRK OF LOWER FRANCONIA
The Bezirk of Lower Franconia has 1.3 million inhabitants spread over 308 municipalities and covers an area of 8,532 km². It is one of seven districts in Bavaria. In addition to the municipalities, the Landkreise (regional districts) and the kreisfreie Städte (independent towns), the districts form the third municipal level.
The Bezirk of Lower Franconia fulfils tasks that go beyond the competence or capacity of the regional districts and independent towns. It maintains and supports public institutions that are essential for the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the people in Lower Franconia. As a responsible body of supra-local social welfare, it helps people in need of care and people with disabilities or mental illnesses. The Bezirk is also responsible for specialist clinics as well as several homes. It also focuses on regional cultural work, on the partnership with the department of Calvados in France, on specialist consulting for cellar management and cellar technology as well as specialist consulting for fisheries.
The highest body of the Bezirk of Lower Franconia is the Bezirkstag (district council), whose members are elected for a period of five years by the citizens of Lower Franconia eligible to vote. It currently consists of 24 voluntary district councillors. In the constituent meeting, they elect the Bezirkstagspräsident (district council president) and their deputies from among their number.
The district council has appointed advisory and decision-making committees and specialist advisory boards for consultation on, and preparation and handling of important issues and tasks.
The district council president presides over the district council of Lower Franconia and over most of the committees and represents the district externally.
As an employer for approximately 3,600 people in a variety of professions, such as doctors, nursing staff, teachers, administrative staff, craftsmen, the district of Lower Franconia is one of the largest employers in Lower Franconia.
The total volume of the district’s budget in 2020 amounts to €858.9 million. Of this, €534.5 million is addressed to the cameral budget (administration and asset budget) and €534.5 to the hospital and home sector. In addition, there is the budget of the Lower Franconian Cultural Foundation (culture budget) with a volume of approximately €9.2 million.
The focus of the cameral budget is on social benefits, with €479.1 million of funding being set aside for this purpose. This represents 89.6% of the district’s total expenses and therefore makes up by far the largest share.
The district’s income comes from the so-called district levy, which is collected by the nine regional districts and three independent towns and from the compensation payments made by the State of Bavaria entitling the municipalities to get a share of tax revenue.
In addition, there are substitute benefits from the social welfare sector. Furthermore, the district has access to funding from administrational and operational revenues as well as internal offsetting.