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It is part of the ceremonial county of Somerset. The unitary authority provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within the district, including local planning and building control , local roads, council housing , environmental health , markets and fairs, refuse collection , recycling , cemeteries , crematoria , leisure services, parks, and tourism. It is also responsible for education , social services , libraries , main roads, public transport, trading standards , waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service , Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the South Western Ambulance Service.
Its administrative headquarters is in Bath , though many departments are based at offices in Keynsham. The air ambulance and critical care service is provided by the charity Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. It stretches from the outskirts of Bristol , south into the Mendip Hills and east to the southern Cotswold Hills and Wiltshire border. The area has varied geography including river valleys and rolling hills. The history of human habitation is long but expanded massively during Roman times , and played significant roles in the Saxon era and English civil war.
Industry developed from a largely agricultural basis to include coal mining with the coming of canals and railways. Bath developed as a spa resort in Georgian times and remains a major cultural tourism centre having gained World Heritage City status. The age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but is believed to be from the Neolithic period,  as is the chambered tomb known as Stoney Littleton Long Barrow.
The hills around Bath such as Bathampton Down saw human activity from the Mesolithic period. The archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman Baths ' main spring was treated as a shrine by the Celts ,  and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis , whom the Romans identified with Minerva ; however, the name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, leading to Bath's Roman name of Aquae Sulis literally, "the waters of Sulis".
Excavations carried out before the flooding of Chew Valley Lake also uncovered Roman remains, indicating agricultural and industrial activity from the second half of the first century until the third century AD. The finds included a moderately large villa at Chew Park,  where wooden writing tablets the first in the UK with ink writing were found. The Saxon advance from the east seems to have been halted by battles between the British and Saxons, for example; at the siege of Badon Mons Badonicus which may mave been in the Bath region e.