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- Parish and Town councils, often referred to as ‘local councils’, are the first tier of local government and provide communities with a democratic voice and a structure for taking community action
- The Parish Council is your democratically elected local authority and made up of unpaid councillors who are elected to serve for four years.
- Their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community, delivering services to meet local needs and striving to improve quality of life and community well-being.
- Through an extensive range of discretionary powers, local councils provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, common and open spaces. Some councils are also responsible for community transport schemes, community safety and crime reduction measures, events and festivals, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, considering planning applications, street cleaning and lighting, tourism activities, traffic calming measures, village greens and youth projects
- They also have the power to raise money through council tax – often referred to as the precept.
- You can find out more about local government by visiting the website of the National Association of Local Councils, known as NALC.
- There is also a range of information provided on the different types of council and their electoral arrangements on the government website
- If you want to read more about the role of Parish Councils you can download this handy NALC publication entitled ‘All About Councils’