Parish Council - Introduction

What is a Parish Council?

The following is an extract from The Good Councillor’s Guide, published by the National Association of Local Councils, available to download here.

The council

Your council is a corporate body, a legal entity separate from that of its members. Its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body. The council has been granted powers by Parliament including the important authority to raise money through taxation (the precept) and a range of powers to spend public money (more later).
Your council is an elected body in the first tier of local government. Other tiers, known as principal councils or authorities, have many legal duties to deliver services such as education, housing, town and country planning, transport, environmental health and social services. Local councils have the legal power to take action, but they have very few duties and greater freedom to choose what action to take. They can play a vital part in representing the interests of the communities they serve and improving the quality of life and the local environment. Furthermore they influence other decision makers and can, in many cases, deliver services to meet local needs. In other words, you and your council can make a difference.

What does your council do?

Planning, highways, transport and traffic, community safety, housing, street lighting, allotments, cemeteries, playing fields, community centres, litter, war memorials, seats and shelters, rights of way – these are some of the issues that concern parish government. Central Government is encouraging local councils to deliver more services and play a greater part in their communities. For example your council could provide or give financial support for:

  • an evening bus taking people to the nearest town
  • affordable housing to rent
  • pond clearing
  • redecorating the community centre
  • a teenagers’ drop-in club
  • a summer festival
  • equipment for a children’s activity group
  • transport to hospital

Council Members

Chairman - Colin Emms
Clerk - Marion Brighton
Mrs Jean Baylis
Jim Haywood
Robert Heming
Ian Jones
Barbara Hopkins
Martin Burge