Parish Councils

parish council is a civil local authority found in England and is the lowest, or first, tier of local government.[1] They are elected corporate bodies, have variable tax raising powers, and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, serving in total 16 million people. A parish council serving a town may be called a town council, and a parish council serving a city is styled a city council; these bodies have the same powers, duties and status as a parish council.

Parish and town councils vary enormously in size, activities and circumstances, representing populations ranging from less than 100 (small rural hamlets) to up to 70,000 (Weston-Super-Mare Town Council). Most of them are small: around 80% represent populations of less than 2,500.[2]

Civil parish councils should not be confused with Parochial church councils which administer parishes of the Church of England.

Civil parish councils, which can be called Community councils should not be confused with Rural community councils which engage in rural development work.

 

Powers and Duties

The powers and duties of a Parish Council are many and various. In some instances for historical or pragmatic reasons, some of these powers may have been evolved to a higher tier of local government. An example of this in our case is the care of roadside verges which is the responsibility of the County Council.