Page 2 - pc_about_parish_councils
P. 2

About this booklet                               What services do they provide?

Throughout England parish                        Your parish or town council has an overall
and town councils work towards                   responsibility for the well-being of your
improving community well-being                   local community. Their work falls into three
and providing better services                    main categories:
at a local level.
                                                 • representing your local community
This booklet is for anyone wanting to know
more about parish and town councils, the         • delivering services to meet local needs
role of local councillors and what you need
to do if you would like to stand as a candidate  • striving to improve quality of life in the parish
in local parish or town council elections.
                                                 Your council might provide and maintain the
We have also provided a range of case            following services:
studies which highlight the different kinds
of work that parish and town councils do,        • allotments          • litter bins
showing that size is no bar to making
a real difference in the local community.        • bridleways          • local youth
                                                 • burial grounds        projects
What is a parish                                 • bus shelters
or town council?                                 • car parks           • open spaces
                                                 • commons             • public lavatories
There are over 8,700 parish and town             • community           • planning
councils representing around 16 million                                • street cleaning
people across England. They form the               transport schemes   • street lighting
most local level of government and cover
many rural and urban areas. The latter           • crime reduction     • tourism activities
include many of our larger cities such as          measures
Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool. To find                               • traffic calming
out if there is a parish or town council in      • footpaths             measures
your area contact the National Association
of Local Councils (contact details are on        • leisure facilities  • village greens
the back page of this booklet).
                                                 They will work with larger councils in your
                                                 area called ‘principal councils’1 to agree
                                                 which of these services the parish or town
                                                 council should be in charge of.

What's the difference
between a parish council
and a town council?

Not a great deal. They both have the same
powers and can provide the same services.
The only difference is that a town council
has decided that it should be known as a
town council instead of a parish council,
and has a mayor.

                                                 1 Principal councils are larger councils such as a district or county
                                                 council, metropolitan borough council or a unitary authority.

2 All about parish and town councils
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7