What is a Parish Council?

Parish and town councils in England and community and town councils in Wales are the first tier of local government. They deliver a vast range of services at a local community level. There are around 10,000 community, parish and town councils in England and Wales that are made up of nearly 100,000 councillors. These first-tier councils can respond to the needs of the local community delivering the services or representation it needs most.

At present, but not in all locations in England and Wales, there is a three-tiered structure of local government.

Town/Parish/Community Council
District Borough Council
County Council

Powers and Duties

Parish and town councils have a large range of powers, and the activities parish and town councils are involved in can be wide ranging. Many parish and town councils are involved in planning, promoting tourism, licensing, management of town and village centres and providing community halls.

How Parish Councils Work

Parish councils are statutory bodies, with the legal power to take decisions and actions. Members are elected for a term of four years and councils are funded principally by an annual precept. Parish and town councils can apply for other funding such as grant and funding awards, but they do not receive funds direct from central government, as principal authorities do. The Parish Council will use those funds to further the interests of the community they serve, improving quality of life and the local environment. To do this they will seek to influence decision making to deliver services needed in the local community.

Spofforth with Stockeld Parish Council are pleased to work closely with the following organisations: