The role of Parish Councils
Parish or Town Councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, i.e. District and County Council, however they maintain a close working relationship with both. The powers of Parishes vary depending on how large and how active they are. Some meet infrequently (but at least four times a year, including one public meeting) and are responsible for very few matters. Other, larger, parishes undertake many duties such as street lighting, managing cemeteries, allotments, commons, village halls, war memorials and markets etc.
A database is available showing contact details for all Parish and Town Councils and Parish Meetings. Details are viewable by Parish and by Clerk. Printer labels for each district, and a complete list is also available:
Town and Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent. They:
- give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
- undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
- work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
- alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
- help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.
- Town and Parish Councils have a wide range of legal duties and powers, such as the maintenance of community buildings and land and much more. They have the power to raise money through the local council tax.