Parish councils are local authorities, first created by statute in 1894. Parliament has given parish and town councils (referred to as local
councils), the power to raise and spend money - a power shared by other local authorities.
Local councils are the tier of local government closest to the people.
They exist to discuss community affairs and exercise powers granted to them by law. Current powers and duties are wide-ranging. Whilst local
councils must carry out any duties imposed on them, they may choose whether or not to exercise powers within their remit. Different councils will,
therefore, carry out different activities depending on their area, their members' choice of policy and their residents' needs and wishes.
Councils may, for instance, choose to provide, maintain or contribute to:
- Bus shelters
- Community buses
- Community centres
- Litter bins
- Play equipment
- Public clocks
- Public conveniences
- Public seats
- Recreation grounds
- Signs of various kinds
- Traffic calming measures
- War memorials
- Waymarker signs
plus many others.
No two local councils will be exactly the same - either in their operation or their choice of activities undertaken.
What is common is that all local councils are made up of councillors elected by local residents eligible to vote, and that each parish will have
at least one officer, usually called the Clerk, who acts as Chief Administrative Officer and, usually, is responsible for the council's financial