What does your parish council do?

Your council is an elected tier of local government. Other tiers, known as principal authorities, have a legal duty to deliver services such as education, town and country planning, environmental health and social services. Parish councils also have the legal power to take action, but they have fewer duties and greater freedom to choose what action to take.

Typical issues that concern parish government are planning applications, highways, traffic, community safety, housing, street lighting, allotments, cemeteries, playing fields, community centres, litter, war memorials, seats and shelters. Parish Councils also play a vital part in representing the interests of parishioners to higher authorities. Parish Councils are mainly funded from the local Council Tax (the precept) and have a range of powers to spend money to benefit the local community.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Parish Council

Generally the role of a parish council is to improve the quality of community life for their parish and its inhabitants. They can:

  • Give views, on behalf of their 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

You can make a difference to your Parish Council either by becoming a councillor or by just working closely with the Parish Council.  For more information on becoming a Parish Councillor, click here.